At the stroke of midnight on Halloween the season quickly shifts from ghosts and goblins to menu planning and mistletoe. While I don't like to rush the holidays, I do welcome them with open arms. To celebrate the season, my lovely friend Holly (of Turquoise Autumn) invited me over for treats and talk of wintry recipes. Even though her kitchen was beyond comforting (endless rows of glorious cookbooks, Judy Garland's Christmas Pandora station and the scent of freshly baked bread), she setup and styled the most precious tea party in her beautiful backyard. If it wasn't for the whipping winds I could have stayed there all day.
Let's just take a moment to admire her Pumpkin Chai Chocolate Chip Bread. Isn't it stunning? The rich chocolate paired perfectly with the warming chai spices and sweet pumpkin flavors. I could imagine that beyond being served hot from the oven, it would be wonderful toasted (with a bit of pumpkin butter) and served with tea for a holiday breakfast bite. Lucky for you (and me), Holly has shared her scrumptious recipe on her site just in time for your holiday meal planning. We paired a slice with my earl grey infused hot chocolate.
Keep Reading for the Earl Grey Infused Hot Chocolate Recipe...
Fortunately for me, Holly had gathered all of the necessary ingredients for our tea infused treats from Williams-Sonoma. So, I was able to arrive with only a smile, a treasured tea pot and one of my favorite wintry tea recipes in hand. As a child, I savored mugs of indulgent hot chocolate overflowing with pillowy marshmallows. Hoping to combine the traditional treat with a steeped sip, I infused the milk with the robust and perfumed Earl Grey. Once the tea had steeped, I whisked in the chocolately mix and added a few marshmallows to the tea cup for a truly decadent touch.
Earl Grey Infused Hot Chocolate
(makes 2 small servings for 2 tiny tea cups)
- 2.5 cups milk (I prefer slightly sweet & nutty almond milk)
- 3 bags Steven Smith Teamaker's Lord Bergamot earl grey (or 3 teaspoons of your favorite earl grey blend)
- 10 tablespoons WS Classic Hot Chocolate Mix
- Marshmallows for topping (These mini vanilla marshmallows are delightful)
Bring the milk to a low boil in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Add Earl Grey tea, turn heat down to medium low and steep for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags or strain loose leaf tea. Whisk in 10 tablespoons hot chocolate mix until dissolved and frothy. Pour tea-infused hot chocolate into two teacups and immediately top with marshmallows. Serve hot.
The bright bergamot and matly black tea leaves of Earl Grey subtly compliment the rich, sweet hot chocolate flavors. And if Earl Grey isn't your cup of tea (yes, I used that pun), then try a bold masala chai blend bursting with warming spices or a decadent orchid oolong (Mighty Leaf's Orchid Oolong when infused in hot chocolate conjures taste memories of Almond Joy Bars). If you plan on using loose leaf tea but don't enjoy straining the steeped leaves I recommend keeping a few of these unbleached paper tea filters on hand (they're great for cooking with tea or for when traveling with tea).
Many thanks to my dear friend, Holly, for hosting the most perfect tea party. I hope that our recipes inspire you to gather with friends in the kitchen over the holidays. Be sure to share your favorite tea-infused recipes via a comment, tweet or instagram snapshot. Happy Steeping!