Today was an unseasonably warm 56 degree day in Chicago – the sun was shining, the snow melted away revealing three months worth of dog crap and garbage strewn about my neighborhood, and white people everywhere were prematurely wearing shorts. It was too wet to play at the park, so after a quick breakfast with the Kaminskis at Pick Me Up we headed to Millennium Park to run around the Bean. Unbeknown to us, it was the first annual Frozen Fun Fest so we were greeted with a marching band, several pathetically meting ice sculptures and Da Mare himself, Richard M. Daley. We were also pleased to find Starbucks handing out free samples of their new tea infusions- I got a wee cup of Berry Chai Tazo Tea Infusion and nabbed a bunch of free coupons before slinking away to laugh at the craziest ice skater ever. “This would make a good muffin,” I noted to Tony.

Later, after we got home and put our pants in the drier (stupid melting ice maze) we headed out to Oak Park, home of the Frank Lloyd Wright home tour and the closest Penzeys Spices to my house. We loaded up on shallot salt, cardamom, pure almond extract and off we went. (Only one of those ingredients found its way into my muffins.)

After we ate some veggie tacos (I got in trouble for using all the sour cream in some cupcakes I made last week) Teno and I made these muffins. I measured, Teno stirred. I think they’re about as close to the tea infusion as a muffin can get – Tony thinks they have too much clove.

To make the muffins you will need:

  • 2 bags unflavored black tea
  • 3/4 cup soy or rice milk
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • pinch white pepper
  • 1/3 cup canola or veggie oil
  • 2 1/2 Tbs ground flax seeds
  • 3 Tbs water
  • 1 cup berries, frozen*

*I used raspberries, blueberries and blackberries

Then you:

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Grease one muffin pan. Heat soy or rice milk on stove top or in microwave (until almost boiling) add tea bags, steep 3-4 minutes. Remove tea bags and cool. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, spices, pepper and salt. Stir in frozen berries. In a small bowl, whisk the ground flax seed and water. Add this, the milk tea mixture and oil to the dry ingredients.  Stir just until mixed, the batter will be lumpy. Scoop batter into muffin pan and bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 1 minute before removing from pan.