Dirty Irish Chai ~ two ways

March is a tricky month. Will it be cold, will it be hot, or will it be tepid & springlike? You just never can tell. This year its been a bit warm in the lead up to St. Paddy’s Day so we created a refreshing version of an Irish Coffee!

Dirty Irish Chai

So we made it two ways ~ shaken and stirred.

Pictured above we shook the ingredients with ice for about a minute and a half. This made the drink nice and cold and created a lovely frothy topping.

Pictured below, we combined all the ingredients in a glass with ice, stirred it up a bit, then topped it off with homemade Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream!

Dirty Irish Chai

Both are DELICIOUS. The whipped cream really makes for easy drinking, it’s almost like there isn’t any alcohol in there…. Soooo if you’d like to be more aware of the alcohol you’re drinking and leave out some calories, maybe use the shaken method.

It’s up to you, listen to your heart, either way, you’re gonna get a lovely chai spice sweetness from the simple syrup and a serious kick of caffeine from the cold brew!

Here are the ingredients:

1.5 ounce whiskey of choice

1 ounce Chai Simple Syrup

2 ounces cold brew coffee

Method 1: Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake for at least a minute, strain into a glass & enjoy.

Method 2: Pour all ingredients into a glass with ice. Stir a bit. Top with whipped cream. Enjoy.



Charleston Spice Co.


Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

The perfect topping for pies, ice cream, hot cocoa, and fresh fruit!!!!

Dirty Irish Chai

It’s easy and delicious and all your friends and family will be impressed that you made whipped cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3 tablespoons Vanilla Bean Sugar

Place mixing bowl and a balloon whisk in freezer for at least 20 minutes to chill. (This step is optional, however it makes it a little easier to whip up the cream by hand ~ you can also just throw these ingredients into the bowl of your electric mixer and whip it up that way.)

Pour cream and sugar into your chilled bowl. Whisk for approximately 3-5 minutes or until cream reaches the soft peak stage. You’ll know you’re there when you see peaks fall ever so slightly to the side when you lift your whisk out of the bowl!

And it’s that easy!


Charleston Spice Co.

The King of Tarts

This all started with a desire to make a king cake. I made a king cake but it just wasn’t all that satisfying.  Sooooo I decided to make pop tarts that were filled and decorated just like I’d fill and decorate a king cake!

King of Tarts

The crust is a simple sugar cookie dough. The filling can be as basic or as wild as you want to get!! And that’s the beauty of this recipe ~ there are no rules for the filling! At the end of this post, I’ll tell you all about the fillings I’ve tried so far (and ya best believe I’ll be making these again to try more fillings!).

For the crust (makes about 15 tarts when the dough is rolled to 1/4″ and cut with a 3.5″ diameter round cookie cutter):

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set to the side. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Slowly add in the flour mix. Mix until completely combined.

Split the dough in half or into thirds and roll out to desired thickness. I placed both sheets of dough onto a baking sheet layered with parchment paper and then placed them in the refrigerator to chill. Once the dough was chilled I cut it to my desired shape, I used a 3.5″ diameter cookie cutter. How you proceed here is up to you. I decided to cut all the dough before I began assembling the tarts, keeping it chilled in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and assemble your fillings!

As far as fillings go, let your heart guide you. Here are some of the fillings we tried:

~ plain homemade caramel sauce

~ caramel sauce with thinly sliced apple & cinnamon sugar

~ chocolate chips

~ chocolate chips, toasted pecans, & caramel sauce

~ lemon curd

~ homemade kumquat marmalade

The possibilities are endless!! Place your desired filling in the middle of your crust and seal around the outside with a fork. Bake for 17 minutes, or until the edges of crust begin to brown. Let cool on the pan for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.

Once cool you can decorate! For the sugary topping we sifted 1 cup of confectioners sugar and added a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a tablespoon of milk ~ you may want a splash more milk, but we found that keeping the topping a little thicker helped keep it from all rolling right off the tarts! Top with sugar, sprinkles, and maybe a drizzle of caramel!

The beauty of these tarts is that there is no limit to what you can put inside!! So let your imagination guide you!

Happy baking!


Charleston Spice Co.

King of Tarts

Last Minute Kumquat Marmalade

In a last minute moment of inspiration, I made this marmalade to put in these tarts. I had already baked about half the tarts when I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to have a little kumquat marmalade in the middle?

Here’s what ya need:

2 cups thinly sliced kumquats

1 tablespoon Ginger Sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, heat over medium-low for roughly an hour. Keep an eye on it, stirring occasionally to make sure the kumquats don’t stick to the bottom of your pan and burn. Then using an immersion blender or food processor blend it all up a bit to break up sliced kumquats even more. Chill until ready to use.

I put most of this into tarts but there was a bit left over that was excellent on toast!


Charleston Spice Co.

kumquat marmalade