I have been drinking a lot of tea lately. Spring in New Jersey has been particularly strange this year, as we’ve had temps ranging from the 40s to the 70s all in the same week. Personally, I am not a fan of drastic temperature changes. They tend to wreak havoc on my sinuses and the warmth of a hot cup of tea is the perfect remedy. I think part of the comfort that comes from a nice hot cup of tea is actually due to the ritual of it and all of its accoutrements. Brewing a pot of tea can take a little time, giving you a few minutes to collect your thoughts before rushing off to start your day. I’ve been brewing a pot in the morning when I can and enjoying a cup with a little sweet, like a biscuit or a scone. Of course, I don’t always have time in the morning to savor a proper cuppa though, and that is actually how these muffins came to be. They have tea in the batter, along with tea-soaked raisins and a bit of orange zest to bring out the nuances of the tea giving them the flavor of a cup of Lady Grey without the morning time commitment. You can bake up a batch tonight and have yummy muffins for breakfast (or elevenses, if you please) all week long. So why don’t you go and put the kettle on?
Lady Grey Tea Muffins
3 Lady Grey tea bags, 2 opened, 1 for steeping raisins
1/3 cup raisins
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of 1/2 an orange
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon orange juice
1 teaspoon water
Steep 1 of the Lady Grey teabags according to the directions on the packaging. Add raisins to steeped tea and set aside to sit until raisins plump up, about 15 to 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375° F.
In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk until incorporated. Add contents of the 2 opened Lady Grey tea bags and the orange zest to the flour mixture and stir well. Strain the rehydrated raisins from their steeping liquid and add them to the dry ingredients. Toss just until raisins are coated with flour. In a seperate bowl, combine the buttermilk, melted butter, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, and egg and mix to combine. Create a well in center of the dry mixture bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir gently until just combined. Don’t overmix or your muffins will be tough!
Line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners. Using a cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer to the oven to bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, confectioner’s sugar, orange juice, and water and stir until smooth. Drizzle evenly over muffins and serve. Makes 12 muffins.