26 September 2013

Chai Almond Quick Bread

I am so glad that Fall is finally here.  Not that it's actually here since it was almost 90° today, but technically it is Fall.  I really look forward to the cooler weather, which should arrive here in Little Rock sometime next month to stay for a while.  I really love all the fall foods.  I love the warmth of them -- chili, chicken and dumplings, apple pie, etc....  I am also a total chai tea fanatic which is kinda weird since those pumpkin pie-type spices are not typically my favorites.  Maybe they're just not my favorite when pumpkin is involved.....hmmmm....I might be onto something there.

You might know already if you read my blog is any sort of regularity, but I'm also a huge fan of quick breads.  They're quick (duh), easy, and really just a perfect vehicle for tons of flavor.  This bread is a perfect example, too.  It comes together in about 5 minutes, all you have to do is mix and throw it in the oven, and it's brimming with tons of flavor -- almond, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, brown sugar.  This is also a perfect Fall food if you are protesting the totally ridiculous overuse of pumpkin out there.  You don't need pumpkin just to make it taste all harvest-y.  This bread is my protest sign.

Chai Almond Quick Bread
makes one loaf

Print me, Please!!!

for the bread:

3/4 c sugar
1/2 c butter, softened
1 cup prepared chai tea or chai latte
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
2 1/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cardamom
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp cloves
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

for the glaze:
1 c powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
3 to 5 tsp almond milk

Preheat  the oven to 400°.  Grease a loaf pan with nonstick spray; set aside.

Beat the sugar and butter on medium speed in fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.  Reduce speed to low and beat in tea, vanilla, and the egg until well combined.  Stir in the flour, baking powder and spices just until moistened.  Fold in almonds.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan and let cool 30 more minutes on the wire rack.

In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough almond milk to make the glaze spreadable.  Spoon the glaze over the bread, then allow the bread to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container up to 4 days.  This bread is best the day after it is made.

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