Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins Revisited

It’s not fall until Caitlin makes some sort of pumpkin muffin and, by golly, for a few days we felt the faint kiss of fall in the morning breeze!

So Caitlin made her classic chocolate chip pumpkin muffins but instead cinnamon she threw in some Chinese 5 Spice!

If you’d like to add a hint of intrigue to your fall and winter cooking we dare you to use Chinese 5 Spice, it will bewilder your friends and possibly leave your relatives speechless!

pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

Here’s how to make these muffins (if you prefer to play it safe, substitute Poudre Douce (that’s our pie spice) or cinnamon for the Chinese 5 Spice):

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons Chinese 5 Spice

6 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup Ginger Sugar (Optional, it adds a nice bite! Of course, you could just use all plain sugar)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons sorghum or molasses

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional but highly recommended)

Preheat oven to 350° and line your muffin tins with festive liners ~ this recipe makes about 18 muffins.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a small bowl. Using your electric mixer or some serious elbow juice mix together the sugar and butter until it looks a bit like wet sand. Scrape down the sides of your bowl and add oil, eggs, molasses, and pumpkin. Mix thoroughly and scrape the sides down again. Add the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides at least once. Throw in the chocolate chips and mix until just combined.

Pour the batter into your prepared muffin tins. Fill each to about two thirds full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean! Let cool in the tins for a few minutes then move to a wire rack to continue cooling. At this point, it is highly likely that they will start disappearing. However, if you manage to have some at the end of the day, they should last for a few days in an airtight container.

Happy fall, friends!

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

Roasted Peach Tart

Roasted Peach Tart

This is a great treat to whip up for your friends and family who are trying to be gluten/grain/sugar-free. It’s simple and delicious.

The natural flavor and sweetness of peaches make them the perfect choice for a sugar-free dessert! (And if you have any peaches left over after you decorate the tart you can throw them on some yogurt or ice cream!)

I found a recipe for graham crackers in The Heal Your Gut Cookbook, halved it and used it as the crust for this tart. If you don’t have any objections to sugar & gluten, you can use the tart pastry from this recipe because it’s awesome.

Here’s how ya do it:

For the crust:

2 1/4 cups almond flour

1/2 teaspoon gelatin

1 teaspoon Poudre Douce

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 teaspoon H2O

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease your tart pan and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and stir together until a crumbly dough is formed. Turn this out into your pan and gently press it down to form an even crust. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges become nice and brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool. Keep the oven on and make your topping!

For the topping:

4 peaches, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel and slice your peaches into a small bowl. Sprinkle with the Chinese 5 Spice and stir to coat. Lay the peaches out in one layer on your baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool a bit. Pick out a few of the less attractive slices and with an immersion blender or food processor blend them up into a nice paste. Spread this paste onto your tart crust and layer the remaining slices on top!

Roasted Peach Tart

Stay sweet,

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

Brunch Beauty Shots

Anything goes.

Go big or go home.

Less is more.

Too much is never enough.

Put an egg on it.

Just do it.

All these tag lines and catch phrases can be applied to the mystical occurrence that has been given the name brunch.

That’s why the Craic Team that brought you The Tower of Tex Mex loves brunch. It is synonymous with fun, good times, and great food.

Sooo, this past Sunday they started with an idea, a food fiesta really: chilled shrimp salad with tomatoes and avocado in a lettuce wrap.

Then this happened:

5 Spice Brunch

A very similar concept in that it was a chilled shrimp lettuce wrap….

But completely different.

The Craic Team had visions of a chilled shrimp salad with avocado and tomato and corn and hot peppers but then they found a sweet potato on the edge of expiration and all hell broke loose. That did NOT fit into their plans.

So the plans changed.

And they roasted that sweet potato with Garam Masala and pan sautéed that shrimp with Chinese 5 Spice and some peppers and uncooked ramen noodles and onion and a garlic clove or two. They made some peanut sauce, grated a carrot, chopped up some Thai basil, threw it all together on a lettuce leaf and called it brunch.

As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you are making other plans.”

Sláinte,

Charleston Spice Co.

5 Spice Brunch

Chocolate Chinese 5 Spice Sugar Cookies

Hi.

Hello.

(awkward silence accompanied by embarrassed blush)

How are you?! Are you all right? It’s been a while, it’s all my fault.

(nervous giggle followed by a hurried explanation and more blushing)

The holidays, you know, the family, the friends, the eating, the feasting, the socializing, the buying, the selling, the other friends, the other family…and then the birthdays, and the socializing, and the eating, do you know how many birthdays there are in January? A whole lot of ’em. It’s not a good excuse, I know, but are you a good blogger? Can you give me some tips? If not, can you just forgive me?

I promise, I’m back and I’m here to stay. It’s a new year and new recipes await!! Like this one:

Chocolate Chinese 5 Spice Sugar Cookies

Maybe these are a little wild to be the first recipe of 2015, and to be honest I thought perhaps they were my first kitchen catastrophe of 2015. But the day after I made them, I sat down with a warm cup of Earl Grey tea, a book, and one of these cookies just for the heck of it. The next thing you know, I had to put down my book and grab another cookie to contemplate the subtle loveliness of chocolate, sugar, and Chinese 5 Spice.

The moral of that anecdote is that these cookies will be great the day they are made but they will be even better the next day. So for the best results, exercise some restraint, make yourself a cup of tea and eat one of these (or two of these) the day after you bake them.

Here’s what you need:Chocolate Chinese 5 Spice Sugar Cookies

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons Chinese 5 Spice

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

14 teaspoons butter

1 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons double strength vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg and 1 egg yolk

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Chocolate Chinese 5 Spice Sugar Cookies

Combine sugar and 5 Spice on a plate and set aside for future cookie rolling!

In a medium to large bowl melt the butter. While you let it cool down a bit, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder.

Check the butter, if it’s still a little warm that’s fine, go ahead and whisk in the brown sugar, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth. Now add the egg, yolk, and the flour mixture. Stir until combined.

Place the dough in the refrigerator, you want it to cool down so you can easily roll it into balls. Take the balls and roll them through the sugar and 5 Spice mix you placed to the side.

Place the dough balls on a parchment lined baking sheet and flatten them with a glass, sprinkling the flattened tops with a little more sugar & 5 Spice (hint: too much is never enough when it comes to sugar cookies and sugar).

Bake for 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. My dough balls were about 2 Tablespoons worth of dough and this recipe made about 24 cookies.

It’s good to be back, hope you enjoy!

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

Chocolate Chinese 5 Spice Sugar Cookies