Sweets are not an option around here, but a necessity. Definitely a basic need on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. So it is up to me to find satisfying alternatives to feed our sweet tooth when we want to bury our face in a bowl of ice cream.
I love making sweet breads like this Chai Bread with Meyer Lemon Glaze. Easier than cakes or cookies and just as satisfying. I used the basic recipe from Pistachio-Chai Muffins with a few tweaks.
The chai adds a subtle warmth and spiciness. I really like using chai tea in recipes. It's a whole lot easier to cut open a couple of tea bags than measure out a half dozen spices. Like most of the food blogosphere, I am obsessed with Meyer lemons and added the zest to the batter and the juice to the glaze. No Meyer lemon? You could easily omit the citrus all together or use a lemon or orange. Or go crazy and use both.
A healthy recipe to begin with, I made it a little healthier by using some whole-wheat pastry flour in place of white flour. Subbing about half of the flour in a recipe with whole-wheat pastry flour is a great trick to making your baked goods better for you and one that I'm trying to incorporate more. I also added in some almonds. Because I add almonds (or bacon) whenever and wherever I can. A tiny splash of almond extract too. Because I have found that little bottle of magic makes everything taste better and smell incredible.
The finished loaf of bread was beautiful and delicious. Beauty and brains. Did it satisfy our sweet tooth? Absolutely.
Linking To: Eat at Home Ingredient Spotlight, These Chicks Cooked, What's Cooking Wednesday, Real Food Wednesdays, Tastetastic Thursdays
Chai Bread with Meyer Lemon Glaze
adapted from Cooking Light, May 2011
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup packed light 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 unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon grated Meyer lemon zest (you can substitute lemon or orange)
1 large egg
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice (you can subsitute lemon or orange)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Combine both flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chai tea in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in center of misture. Combine buttermilk, butter, honey, vanilla and almond extracts, lemon zest, and egg in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until just moist. Gently fold in almonds.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack.
While the bread is cooling, make glaze. Combine confectioner's sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over bread.