A Morning of Holiday Recipes and Treats

The holiday vibe is definitely becoming abundant in my household!  (Yes, I’m that person that starts playing Christmas music a few days before Halloween)!  I so so soooo love this time of year.  I want to curl up by the fire with my stack of November or December issues from my favorite food magazines, have a hot spiked toddy, all while dreams of sugarplums dance in my head!  😉

I was really looking forward to this morning when my lovely friend, Alexis, of Teaspoons and Petals, came to visit.  It was a bit blustery after a Nor’easter that blew through (with some snow!), but we decided to brave the chill and take our gathering outside.

Alexis shares my love of the holidays, my love of cookbooks, my love of Williams-Sonoma, my love of tea…. oh, the list can go on…. so we took the morning to visit… making tea-infused hot chocolate, pumpkin chai chocolate chip bread, and dishing all about our favorite holiday recipes.

If you know me, you know I’m a big fan of Baked (I love Matt & Renato…. who visit our King of Prussia Williams-Sonoma often) and one of my favorite holiday treats to make is the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf from their first book, Baked: New Frontiers in Baking.  Here Alexis and I wanted to infuse a chai flavor is some way, so I adapted Baked‘s recipe using David Rio Masala Chai Powder.  See the recipe below and sorry for the weird measurements, but the bread turned out divine!

Pumpkin Chai Chocolate Chip Bread

1 1/2 + 1/8 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons David Rio Masala Chai Powder (available at Williams-Sonoma)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup of pumpkin puree

1/2 cup of vegetable oil

1 1/2 cup of sugar

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Chatfield’s Double Dark Semi-Sweet Chips)

1/3 cup room temperature water

Preheat oven at 350.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, chai powder, baking soda, and a pinch of salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin and oil.  Add sugar and whisk.  Mix in eggs one at a time, then vanilla and water, and then using a spatula fold in the chocolate chips.  Fold wet ingredients into the dry and mix together thoroughly.

Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for an hour and 15 minutes.

Enjoy with tea, hot chocolate, or mulled cider!

For Alexis‘s recipe of infusing hot chocolate with tea, visit her blog here.  We used… what I think is the best hot chocolate on earth… from Williams-Sonoma of course, along with their mini vanilla marshmallows, and Steven Smith Teamaker’s Lord Bergamot black tea.  It, too, was divine!  Just what we needed to keep us warm while chatting turkey recipes!

** Most goodies available at Williams-Sonoma.  Teapot from Anthropologie.  Tea cups and napkins are vintage.**