Refreshing Iced Milk Tea

Can you believe it’s already mid-August?? For me, it feels like the summer was just getting started when now it’s already coming to an end. And with all the fun outdoor adventures and after-work activities and weekend trips that summer brings, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted lately on the blog! For those of you that follow my Instagram, you’ll see that I’ve (sorta) kept up with some baking photography throughout my busy summer, but I’ve definitely neglected the blog.

So, to jump back into it, I wanted to share my summer obsession with you all: Iced Milk Tea. I’m literally drinking a glass as I write this post now 🙂

Many people might associate milk tea with boba tea or bubble tea, which is really the same thing, just with tapioca pearls. Personally, I prefer without the pearls, but either way, this has been my go-to craving this summer. Somewhat sweet and so refreshing, it’s the perfect pick-me-up when you’re craving something creamier than regular iced tea, but maybe not quite feeling an iced coffee either. (Or you’re like me and you simply don’t like coffee!)

Plus, it’s so easy to make a home! And for much cheaper than any of the bubble tea shops.

Let me know if you try it out with the recipe below! You can also make a large pitcher of black tea in advance and use it to enjoy milk tea throughout the week* 🙂

*(If you opt to make a large batch, I would recommend sticking to a more concentrated tea, as described in the recipe below, so it’s not too diluted once mixed with the ice and milk.)

Recipe:

Ingredients:
  • Black tea
  • Milk of choice (regular, soy, almond, etc.)
  • Sweetener of choice (honey, sugar, etc.)
  • Ice cubes
Instructions:
  1. Brew 1 tea bag with 1/2 cup hot water (or any loose leaf tea with about 1/2 the water you normally would.)
  2. Let cool for several minutes. While tea cools, add ice and any desired sweetener (honey, sugar, etc.) to a tall glass. Optional: add any prepared tapioca pearls to the glass as well.
  3. Once tea has steeped and cooled a bit, pour over glass with ice and top with milk.
  4. Stir gently and enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat No-Bakes

Spring has finally arrived to NYC, and I’m so excited.

Yesterday, I took full advantage of the spring sunshine to go for a long run in Central Park and was marveling at all the flowers which seemingly bloomed overnight! Just a few days before, I had been walking along a path where some initial green shoots were starting to poke through, and yesterday they were already full-blown daffodils!

With the spring and extended daylight, I’m definitely looking forward to more baking, but today I’m actually starting off with a quick and easy no-bake treat!

These Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat No-Bakes are not quite a bar, not quite a cluster, not quite a cookie….they’re just sort of pieces of gooey goodness.

Any really, I could call them Chocolate Nut Butter Oat Bars/Clusters/Cookies, because I’ll tell you a secret: I didn’t actually use peanut butter in this batch 😀

Super easy and quick, these are sure to be treat for anyone!

Recipe:

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk (regular, almond, soy – anything works)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup any nut butter (peanut, almond, sunflower…)
  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • Handful of chocolate chips
Instructions:
  1. In medium-sized pot, combine sugar, milk, cocoa powder, and butter and melt together over medium heat, stirring occasionally. After butter has fully melted, cook for another 2-3 minutes until just bubbly.
  2. Reduce heat to low, and add salt and nut butter. Stir until nut butter begins to melt and incorporate.
  3. Add oatmeal 1 cup at a time, mixing in with a spatula after each scoop.
  4. Line an 8×8 baking pan with wax paper and pour mixture into pan, spreading evenly to the edges. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and gently press into mixture. (Feel free to go as chocolatey or not as you like, and if you’re really feeling it, you could even mix these in the pot for chocolate chips throughout!)
  5. Place pan in the freezer for at least 20 minutes for bars/clusters to cool. Can be stored in container at room temperature.

Oreo Balls

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

To partake in the festivity of today, I decided to make a classic throwback recipe with a St.Patty’s twist: Irish green Oreo balls.

Back in high school, I was pretty much famous for these Oreo balls – everyone loved them, and I’d bring them to school in huge batches of 50 that would disappear in minutes. Such a simple treat that everyone seems to love!

All you need for Oreo balls is 3 ingredients: Oreos, cream cheese, and white chocolate. That’s it!

For holidays or other occasions, I like to either add food coloring to the melted white chocolate or add sprinkles while the white chocolate coating is still firming. However you choose to decorate, you really can’t go wrong 🙂

Ingredients:
  • 1 package of Oreos
  • 8oz cream cheese (softened at room temp)
  • 20oz white chocolate almond bark
Recipe:
  1. Crush Oreos in food processor into fine crumbs. Transfer to large mixing bowl and mix with cream cheese until well incorporated.
  2. Use hands to roll into balls and place on baking sheet lined with wax paper. Let balls firm in fridge for ~20 minutes.
  3. After chilling for ~15 minutes, begin to melt white chocolate either in microwave or over the stove, being sure to stir occasionally so as not to burn.
  4. Once chocolate is melted, remove balls from fridge and 1 by 1, place into white chocolate and coat. Place coated Oreo ball back on the wax paper for chocolate to firm. (Once you’ve coated all the balls, I recommend putting back in the fridge a few minutes to speed up the chocolate firming.)
  5. Enjoy immediately, or store balls in fridge up to a week.

Easy 5-Ingredient Nutella Cookies

Who here loves Nutella?

Honestly, I don’t know that I’ve ever met anyone who’s not a fan of Nutella.

An old friend of mine didn’t like chocolate, but he liked Nutella.

When I was living with my Austrian host family, the little boy – Lukas – would eat Nutella on toast almost every day for breakfast, occasionally for lunch, and I imagine dinner as well had he been allowed.

My boyfriend looooves Nutella.

So now that we’ve established Nutella is pretty much universally loved, let’s get to these cookies. Incredibly quick, simple, and with only 5 ingredients (one of which is, you guessed it, Nutella), they’re perfect for whipping up a quick treat, or just finding a new way to enjoy your favorite hazelnut spread 😉

Enjoy!

Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well blended.
  3. Use a cookie scoop or alternatively roll batter into 1-inch balls with hands (it will be sticky – I recommend wetting your fingertips with water to help) and place on parchment paper lined tray.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes.

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Let’s talk zucchini bread.

It comes in quite a few varieties: chocolate chip zucchini bread, zucchini banana bread, lemon zucchini bread, zucchini bread with pineapple… the list goes on and on. Today, I’m bringing you blueberry zucchini bread.

Zucchini is one of those great ingredients that you can add to a lot of different baked goods – breads, muffins, brownies – to incorporate an extra (secret) dose of greens with no one the wiser. One time, a friend of mine claimed there was no way I could add zucchini to brownies without him knowing; a few weeks later, I did and he ate about half the pan before I told him they indeed contained two full zucchinis 😛

This recipe is super easy for those times when you’re in the mood for something freshly baked, but with minimal effort (only one mixing bowl required for this recipe!)

And if you’re curious about some of the other types of zucchini bread I mentioned above, click here for a list of 18 other different ways to incorporate zucchini + bread. Let me know if you find a style you love (or even invent your own!)

And if you’re also experiencing this crazy drop in temps following winter storm Harper, stay warm!!

Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • Optional: honey (for drizzling)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix together eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar until combined.
  3. Add in the zucchini. Then add flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  4. Gently fold in blueberries.
  5. Grease or line with parchment paper a 9″x5″ loaf pan. Pour mixture into pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let the bread cool a few minutes before removing from the pan. Drizzle with honey as desired, and enjoy!

Apricot Cake (Marillenkuchen)

In an earlier blog post, I wrote about my time in Austria and discovery of the myriad of apricot dishes, especially in late summer. And while it’s not currently stone fruit season in NYC, it is a 3-day weekend and we’re expecting a snowstorm later this afternoon, so I decided to to dig out the recipe my host mom gave me for her amazing Marillenkuchen (apricot cake)!

I’ve kept her original recipe intact except for the addition of a bit of lemon zest, just to give the cake a bit of that zesty flavor to really complement the apricots.

If fresh apricots are hard to come by, a great thing about this recipe is that you can also make it with peaches, raspberries, or most other fruits that might be in season/locally available.

And in case you haven’t figured by now, Marille means apricot in German. 🙂

Recipe:

Note: Since this recipe is straight from Austria, the ingredients below are measured in grams. If you have a kitchen scale, no problem! If not, I’ve also included approximations of measurements in standard American conventions.

Ingredients

  • 200g butter, softened at room temp (~1 1/2 stick)
  • 200g powdered sugar (~1 5/8 cup)
  • 5 eggs
  • 200g flour (~1 3/8 cup)
  • 8g vanilla sugar (1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 4g baking powder (1 tsp)
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 5-6 apricots

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Rinse and quarter apricots.
  3. Beat together butter, half the sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and egg yolks. Then add in flour and baking powder.
  4. In separate bowl, beat egg whites until frothy, then add in second half of sugar until mixture is peaked and stiff.
  5. Gently fold egg whites into first mixture.
  6. Grease 9″ round baking pan/pie dish and sprinkle with flour. Pour mixture evenly into pan.
  7. Bake for 25 min or until cake is starting to firm. Line the top of the cake with apricot pieces in whatever pattern you like. (If you put the apricots on the cake from the beginning, they will likely sink to the bottom! This happened to me once…)
  8. Bake for additional 15 minutes, or until cake turns golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool a few minutes and dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Oatmeal Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lemons lemons lemons! The past couple days I’ve seen a theme of lemon recipes on my Instagram feed – particularly Meyers lemons – which makes sense since winter is citrus season. So in keeping with this prevailing theme, I bring you: oatmeal lemon white chocolate chip cookies! A spin on a classic, these oatmeal cookies satisfy your sweet tooth with the white chocolate while the lemon adds that twist of citrus.

Not a fan of oatmeal? You can also make them as regular old lemon chocolate chip cookies! Just leave out the oatmeal and add an extra 1/4 cup flour or so (else the batter might be a bit runny).

Did I mention your kitchen will also smell lemony fresh while you bake these cookies? All the more reason to whip up a batch today!

Recipe: (makes ~24 cookies)

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter (softened at room temp)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 – 1 cup white chocolate chips (depending how sweet you like them!)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Using a mixer, beat together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until creamy.
  3. Add eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice and mix until creamy and combined.
  4. Add flour, salt, and baking soda until incorporated. Then mix in oatmeal and chocolate chips by hand.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes.