Happy Monday, everyone! Today, instead of simply sipping on our morning coffees, we’re noshing on these Dirty Chai Muffins. And dipping them in coffee. Because coffee is an always type of thing.
I first came on to dirty chais when I was working as a barista in college. Chai lattes had always been in my wheelhouse (and iced chai lattes, duh), but the idea of adding in espresso was totally foreign to me. A skeptic at first, I took my first sip of dirty chai slowly. But as soon as the flavors of cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger spiked with espresso hit my tongue, I was hooked. It’s this amazing combination of exotic florals, rich nuttiness, and earthy warmth.
So with fall being the time of warm lattes and hot beverages, the decision to make dirty chai muffins was a natural one.
Last week, my mom and I went out to dinner. I brought down a chai muffin for her to try in the car, and she placed it in her beverage holder, wanting to save it for after our meal. But 5 minutes into the drive, her hand slowly crept down and pinched a bit of the glazed top off. I didn’t think anything of it at first.
But this is the woman who is known to eat the outsides of Reese’s cups and throw out the centers, because the peanut-butter-to-chocolate-ratio is better that way. A few minutes later, I looked down and saw that only a crumbling muffin bottom, totally naked from its glazed glory, remained. I looked at my mom’s glazed-speckled face and couldn’t help but burst into laughter.
“So you like it?!” I asked.
She smiled, contented. “Yes.”
Tips for making these dirty chai muffins
Muffins are super easy to make, and these chai muffins are no different. But when making these babies, keep the following in mind:
Beat the butter until light and fluffy — The key to any good baked good is to beat the butter and sugar together until they’re light and fluffy. This will take a good 2 to 4 minutes, but it makes a HUGE difference in how your muffins (and cookies and cakes) turn out.
Measure out the spices — I know this seems like a no brainer, but many of you are like me. You look at a recipe, think okay I’ve got this, and then eyeball most of the measurements. But because the chai spices in this muffin recipe are so powerful, you don’t want to add too much or too little of any of them, so take the time to measure them.
Use espresso for a stronger flavor — If you’re a coffee lover, you might want to try making these dirty chai muffins with espresso instead of regular black coffee. You’ll use the same amount for both, so feel free to use whichever you like best.
Wait to glaze the muffins — Nothing beats a warm muffin, but you really need to wait 15 minutes (at least) before glazing these chai muffins. If you don’t, the glaze will turn into a giant puddle and will run right off the muffin.
Now that I am living in the middle of a city, I’m suddenly finding myself looking for new people to take all of my excess baked goods. If you or anyone you know would like to be an official disposal for Broma Bakery goodies, please let me know. I can’t just have my mom eating the tops off of everything.
1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee or espresso (made from instant espresso powder)*
For the glaze
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons espresso (made from instant espresso powder)*
Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease 8 large muffin tins and set aside.
In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg for another minute. Beat in the vanilla extract and all spices until well combined.
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the coffee into the wet ingredients, mixing only until combined.
Scoop batter evenly into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F, then turn oven down to 375°F and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until muffins are golden brown and spring back to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before frosting.
To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and espresso so it forms a thick glaze. Drizzle over muffins, then top with extra espresso powder.
*you can use either strongly brewed coffee or espresso here, depending on how strong you want your coffee flavor to be