Tag Archives: espresso

Dirty Chai Pancakes with Spiced Caramel Sauce


My friends, Wright Time for a Schnack has officially reunited! We have meandered our way back to snowy little Rhode Island from our respective corners of the world. This morning, Caty and I happily cooked in the same kitchen for the first time in over four and a half months. We might be a little more street-smart, city-slick, and worldly, but we are still delighted to return to our hometown and the brilliant friends and family who inhabit it.

On this chilly winter morning, both of us recovering from colds, Caty and I concocted a delightful warm breakfast of dirty chai pancakes with a sweet caramel sauce drizzle. For those not in the know, dirty chai is a surprisingly toothsome flavor mix of chai spice and espresso.

They were enormously satisfying. One of the many lovely things about pancakes is that they are extremely adaptable–one can put any number of ingredients in pancakes and they transform to suit a variety of occasions. In this instance, our occasion was our blogging reunion, and the newly-born year of 2013. Listen, if you don’t have any occasions to celebrate with food, I encourage you make one up on the spot.

For those who, unlike me, aren’t as fond of sugar, I’d recommend you cut back on the amount of the caramel sauce.¬† Caty and I ate no more than half of what we had made–the sauce-to-pancakes ratio was quite high.

These were a lovely treat, and the best part was enjoying each other’s blogging company after so long apart! There’s a sole person in this life who genuinely understands my need to dance like a lunatic in the kitchen, and that is the one and only Caty Schnack.

Happy New Year, everybody!


Dirty Chai Pancakes with Spiced Caramel Sauce
Adapted from Cooking for Seven

For the spiced caramel sauce
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
A pinch of each cloves, nutmeg, cardamom and ginger

For the pancakes
1 1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons white vinegar
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon finely ground espresso (we used Cafe Bustelo espresso-style coffee)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. For the caramel sauce: Place sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir vigorously until completely melted, then add butter one piece at a time. Slowly pour in heavy cream while continuing to whisk. Remove from heat and add salt and spices. Set aside.
  2. Combine the milk and vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside to curdle for five minutes.
  3. Sift together the dry pancake ingredients. Add the curdled milk, maple syrup and vanilla and stir until just combined. The batter might be liquidy; let it sit for a couple minutes and it will thicken up.
  4. Heat a heavy skillet and coat with non-stick cooking spray or butter. Drop batter onto skillet using a 1/3 cup measure and cook until bubbles appear on the sides of the pancake, 1-2 minutes. Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes until cooked on both sides.
  5. Serve with caramel sauce and enjoy!

Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies


These little rounds of deliciousness from Better Homes & Gardens magazine are pretty phenomenal. They may, in fact, be my new favorite cookies. (NOTE: I do not say this lightly–I take my baked goods very seriously). Caty and I whipped them up for a bake sale along with a few other baked goods, but I ended up liking their mocha-y taste so much that I actually went to the bake sale after I dropped them off and ended up buying back my own cookies. That’s right. These are magical little pastries. Something about their melt-in-the-mouth consistency in conjunction with their coffee/chocolate flavor… God, don’t get me started. I could go on for a while.

Anyway, here is the recipe. Beware, they do have coffee in them, so prepare to be a little wired/hyper, depending on how many you eat and how caffeine affects you. I might have been a little loco after eating them, but personally I don’t find that a bad thing.

Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons finely ground espresso beans
1/3 cup sifted cake or all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (we used white)

1. In a medium saucepan, combine bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate and butter; heat and stir over low heat until mixture is melted and smooth. Cool for 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs and ground espresso beans; beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until well cooled and color lightens slightly. Add cooled melted chocolate, beating until combined. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
3. Cover surface of dough with waxed or parchment paper. Let stand for 20 minutes (dough thickens as it stands)
4. Preheat oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or foil. Using a 3-ounce scoop (or 1-2 tablespoons) scoop dough in mounds 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.
5. Bake in preheated oven about 13 minutes or just until tops are set and the cracks on top do not appear moist. Let cookies stand on cookie sheet on a wire rack for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire rack; cool.
(Makes about 24 cookies)