I've really come to enjoy Cooking Light magazine. It's recipes and content are realistic in terms of modern day living and cooking. I've made several recipes from their magazine and have always been happy with the results.
There was a feature on healthier muffin options recently and while I was drawn to the bacon, chocolate, and lemon recipes, I decided to make the pistachio chai because I have never made anything with chai. Now, I am not a tea drinker. Don't like it hot or cold. But there is a chai protein bar that I've enjoyed in the past so I figured there was a good chance I would like these muffins.
Like I did. This is actually the second time I have made them. You could easily call them a spice muffin as the chai tea adds a wonderful warm spice flavor and appearance to the cake. The use of buttermilk and a small amount of butter keeps the muffin moist. Scattering bright green pistachios adds wonderful color and crunch and the buttery texture that only pistachios have. More flavor continues with the vanilla glaze.
I bought plain roasted pistachios but added a tiny bit of fleur de sel to the tops of the muffins and really liked the addition of salt. I also think these muffins could be further enhanced with some orange zest and maybe an orange glaze.
These are a delicious way to start or end your day!
Pistachio Chai Muffins
Maureen Callahan, Cooking Light, May 2011
7 9/10 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 3/4 cups)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 chai blend tea bags, opened
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Cooking spray
- 1/3 cup shelled dry-roasted pistachios, chopped
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1. Preheat oven to 375°.
- 2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut open tea bags; add tea to flour mixture, stirring well. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and egg in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
- 3. Place 12 muffin-cup liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle nuts evenly over batter. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack.
- 4. Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, powdered sugar, and 1 tablespoon water, stirring until smooth. Drizzle evenly over muffins.