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Casual Confections Q&A

Lauren Widrick of Lauren Widrick Coaching and I did a Q&A about Casual Confections. We discussed where I started, how I made the baking blog into a business in the past 5-6 months, and what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. There’s also a nice plug for the Charlotte Geeks Muggles Market and Geek Gala!

 

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Oatmeal Chai Sandwich Cookie

Today I utilized three different recipes I’ve tried in previous bakes and ended up with something very tasty! How tasty? The entire plate of cookie sandwiches was gone before any could be shared outside of the house! This has become a new favorite.

May I present to you, the oatmeal pecan sandwich cookie with chai buttercream.
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• Chewy oatmeal cookies from a previous post (just use chopped pecans as your mix ins instead of apples or walnuts)

• Chai spice* (from the chai spice sugar cookies post) I make a batch of this to keep handy for experiments like this. The buttercream only needs up to 4 tsp so there will be more than enough left over if you make a batch of the chai spice.

• Chai buttercream (modified from Chocolate, Chocolate and more)

6 Tbsp butter at room temp
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tsp chai spice mix* (see recipe above)
2 tsp whole milk

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 mins. Sift the powdered sugar into the butter in 3 half cup sections, scraping the sides of the bowl and beating well after each addition. Add the chai spice and beat again. Add milk a 1/4 tsp at a time and beat for a few mins until the frosting is smooth and keeps its form when manipulated. If it looks too runny, stop adding milk. Adding more powdered sugar will thicken it. Adding more milk will make it less stiff. Mix until desired consistency is reached.

Spread a thick layer onto a cooled oatmeal cookie. Place second cookie on top and press down to secure the cookie, but not hard enough to make the frosting run out of the cookies.

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Chai Spiced Candied Nuts

Nuts typically make for a good road snack. They’re more healthy than a candy bar or cookies and can be quite tasty. Candied nuts are great but chai spiced candied nuts are even better! This recipe comes from My Baking Addiction and utilizes her homemade chai spice mix which we used trying her chai spiced sugar cookies previously.
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Chai Spiced Candied Pecans

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp chai spice blend (I accidentally only used 1 tsp. Whoops)
Pinch of salt
1 egg white
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb pecan halves

Preheat oven to 250°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, stir together sugar, chai spice, and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg white and vanilla until frothy. Add in the pecans and stir to coat.

Stir in the sugar mixture and stir until the pecans are coated. Spread onto the baking sheet.

Bake for 60 mins, stirring every 15-20 mins. Cool completely before serving.

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Chai Spice Sugar Cookies

Four magic words: Chai Spice Sugar Cookies

This experiment comes from My Baking Addiction.

2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 cup white sugar
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice, and black pepper. Remove 1/2 cup (I came up short using 1/4 cup) of the sugar-spice mix and set this portion aside for rolling cookies.

In a bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar-spice mixture until light and fluffy – about 3 minutes.

Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Combine until fully incorporated. Slowly blend in the rest of the dry ingredients mixing until just combined. Roll dough into small balls (roughly 2 tsp) and then into the 1/2 cup sugar-spice mix. Place dough balls on baking sheets about 1 1/2″ apart. Bake for 8-10 mins (I ended up doing 10-12) until cookies start to flatten out. Let the cookies stand on the baking sheets for 2 mins before moving them to a cooling rack.

chai spice mix 04282017
Chai spice mix: White sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, allspice, and pepper