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Fresh Mint Iced Tea
This is my mom’s recipe. We used to have chocolate mint growing in our backyard garden, and it would get so overgrown in the summer that we would give it away to visitors in bunches – of course, their willingness to take home armfuls of the stuff was swiftly multiplied when we plied them with ice cold glasses of Mom’s home brewed mint tea.
2-3 bags of your favorite unflavored black tea (I like Tetley brand)
Handful of fresh mint clippings – 3 or 4 whole stalks
~ 1/2 gallon of boiling water (exact amount depends on the size of your pitcher)
1 cup of white sugar, or, simple syrup, to taste (to be added to individual portions later)
1. Rinse and drain mint stalks. Pat lightly dry with a paper towel, but do not scrub, because you’ll rub off the minty oils and you want to retain as much of them as possible.
2. Steep tea bags in the boiling water until desired strength is obtained. Remove bags and discard.
3. At this point, you can either add sugar directly to the tea, or you can leave it unsweetened and make a simple syrup (using an approximately 1:2 ratio of sugar to hot water) that can be served to the side and added to individual serving of teas as the drinkers desire. Let the tea rest a couple of hours until mostly cool. Then add the mint and transfer to your pitcher.
4. Finish chilling the tea in the refrigerator. Serve cold over ice.
Note: be aware that the longer you keep the tea in the fridge, the mintier it will get as the oils infuse into the liquid. If you plan to keep it for several days, I’d recommend removing the mint cuttings after about day 2 to prevent your drink from turning into something of Listerine-strength proportions!
Chocolate Mint Cake
A minty variation on Baking Bites’ Chocolate Yogurt Loaf Cake – baked in a square pan instead of a loaf pan, and served like brownies.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped very fine.
1 cup lowfat plain yogurt
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter an 8-in square cake pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt.
3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until the mixture is fluffy. Beat in egg and egg white. Mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together water, cocoa powder, vanilla, mint, and yogurt until mixture is smooth. Add half of this mixture to the sugar mixture, followed by another 1/3 of the flour mixture. Stir in remaining yogurt and remaining flour, stirring only until no streaks of flour remain.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Let cake cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then carefully cut along the sides of the pan to release the cake. Turn out onto a plate and cut into squares to serve. Tastes great topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!