Consider this an excuse to stop and take an afternoon pause. This butter is meant for the 3:00 p.m. slump, when you suddenly feel the urge for a cup of tea to perk you up, but concurrently find yourself poking around for something sweet to tide you over until dinner. Grab a biscuit or scone, if you’re lucky — but a piece of toast will do just fine — and start spreading.
While butter is wonderful plain, it’s even better when it’s dressed up a bit. Here, the classic combination of tea and honey come together with the aromatic punch of chai spices to create a compound butter that’s sweet and comforting. The butter is enhanced with both strong-brewed tea and the tea leaves themselves, which lend pretty little flecks of color to the butter.
Chai Tea and Honey Butter
1/2 cup water
3 black tea bags (such as Lipton or Twinings), divided
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
A few grinds of black pepper
1 teaspoon honey
Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat, add 2 of the tea bags, cover the pan, and let the tea steep for 10 minutes. Uncover, remove the tea bags, and let cool to room temperature.
Cut open the remaining tea bag. Combine the butter with the tea leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, black pepper, honey, and 1 tablespoon of brewed tea in a small bowl. Mix by hand until the butter is smooth and the ingredients are well-combined.
Spoon the butter mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and roll it into a log. Refrigerate it for 1 to 2 hours, until firm but still spreadable.
- The butter keeps well in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for about three months.