One year ago this week, something pretty special happened. You see, May 25th, 2013 was the day that Pat and I said “I do”.
Our wedding day was magical. It was everything I could have hoped for in a wedding and more. It was the best day ever times a million. There isn’t a single thing I would go back and change. We were surrounded by our closest friends and family and everything was completely homemade – from the archway we got married under to the desserts. Literally everything but dinner was done by Pat and I, along with the help of our wonderful family and friends! I don’t think there was a single guest who didn’t contribute in some way, whether it be setting up the day of, cleaning up at the end of the night, or helping out with the million and a half DIY’s that I planned.
I think that like most people, marriage has been hard work for both of us. It’s not always easy to be married to a resident who works long hours at a high stress job. It’s not easy to leave friends and family behind and move across the country. Fortunately, I think the hard work has really made us appreciate the
good great. Except for the weeks that I work night shift, every morning I get to wake up next to my best friend. It’s pretty special.
I can’t think of a better recipe to share on our anniversary than these chai tea s’mores with cardamom marshmallows. I first made these tasty treats for our engagement shoot. We had a camping adventure themed engagement shoot and I think this recipe probably tipped us over toward the “glamping” end of the spectrum.
The day of our engagement shoot was another awesome day. I DIY’d the heck out of the shoot and we had the pleasure of hanging out with the lovely and talented Kinsey Mhire all day as she captured all of the amazing shots you see in this post (except the plated s’more).
P.S. – Save the dough scraps and bake them too, as they make delicious tea cookies. They have a decent shelf life if kept in an airtight container.
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- For Chai Tea S'mores
- 5 T. whole milk
- 1/4 c. + 2 tsp loose-leaf masala chai tea (black tea blended with ginger, clove, cardamom, cinnamon)
- 2 T. pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 c. + 2 T flour
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 7 T. unsalted butter (cut into small squares and frozen)
- 1/3 c. honey
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1 c. of cold water, divided
- 3 1/4-oz. packets or 3 T. unflavored gelatin
- 2 c. sugar
- 2/3 c. light corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 whole vanilla bean
- 2 green cardamom pods, seeds removed and finely crushed with a mortar and pestle
- 1/4 c. cornstarch
- 1/4 c. powdered sugar
- Heat milk in a small saucepan on medium-high until steaming. Remove from heat and add 2 tsp. masala chai (use an infuser to make your life easier). Steep for 6 minutes. Strain if not using an infuser. Let cool to room temp.
- Whisk the milk mixture, vanilla, and honey in a small bowl and set aside.
- Combine the remaining chai tea, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or food processor.
- Add milk mixture and mix until dough begins to come together. The dough will be soft and speckled with bits of tea leaves and spices.
- Dust your work surface with flour and knead the dough into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Cover in plastic and chill overnight or at least 2 hours.
- Dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour and roll the dough into a 1/8 inch thick rectangle. The dough will rise so don't make it too thick.
- Cut dough into 8-10 four inch squares. I got the ruffled edges by using a pastry wheel . Save the leftover scraps to bake and use as tea cakes.
- Use a spatula to transfer each dough square from the counter to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Chill the sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes to set.
- Using a toothpick, draw a line down the center of each cracker and prick a few dotted rows to give it that authentic graham cracker look. Don't push hard enough to break through the dough.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 350F, rotating at 10 minutes for even baking. Let cool before assembling the s'mores.
- Line a 9x9" baking pan with foil and coat it with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add 1/2 cup of cold water to the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle gelatin over the water and allow it to sit for 15 minutes.
- Heat the sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining water to a medium saucepan over medium-low, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook without stirring until temperature is 240F on a candy thermometer, about 8 minutes.
- Once the mixture has reached the desired temperature, remove the saucepan from heat. Turn the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on low speed and carefully and slowly pour the syrup down the side of the bowl and into the gelatin. Increase the speed to high and beat for 15 minutes, until mixture holds thick peaks.
- While the mixture is being whisked, use a paring knife to slice open the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add the vanilla bean seeds, vanilla extract and crushed cardamom and beat until thoroughly combined.
- Spray a spatula with cooking spray and transfer the mixture to prepared baking dish. Spread evenly. Let stand for at least 6 hours at room temperature, until firm.
- Combine the cornstarch and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Dust a generous layer of the mixture onto a cutting board. Turn the marshmallow slab onto the cutting board and peel off the foil.
- Use a cookie cutter, very sharp knife or pizza cutter coated with oil to cut into desired shapes. Re-oil your instrument of choice as needed.
- Toss the marshmallows in the remainder of the cornstarch mixture. A good method is to do 6-8 at a time in a freezer bag. Tap off any excess mixture.
- Will keep in a sealed container for about two weeks.
Chai Graham Crackers - Adopted from Design Sponge br] Makes 8-10 Graham Crackers and 4-5 s'mores with marshmallows to spare