Some flavor combinations are simply perfect, it´s as if the spices had belonged together for centuries… come to think of it, that would actually be the case with chai spices.
As I have said before, I have a bit of a love story going on with chai tea, and lately that has started to branch out into my baking. Being a chocolate chip cookie fan, I figured my two lovers would get along famously, and boy did they or what!
I made some cookies with and some without chocolate chunks, and I can´t really choose a favorite, though the ones with chocolate are clearly more decadent.
I got the basic proportions from a Dorie Greenspan recipe, and then added the spices and tweaked the recipe to get what I wanted. These work perfectly with tea, a glass of cold milk, a good cup of coffee or café con leche.
Chai cookies (base cookie recipe from Baking from my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (225 grams)
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (I used cardamom seeds and ground them in the processor with a bit of the flour)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (probably double that amount if you are using ground ginger)
1 teaspoon allspice
a pinch of ground black pepper (just a little touch, and it´s entirely optional)
2 large eggs
semisweet chocolate chunks, 1 1/2 cups
Yields about 30 big cookies.
Storing: they can be kept for up to 4 days in a cookie jar and can be frozen up to 2 months.
1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats (if you use a temperamental gas oven like myself, you might want to wait until you´ve finished to cookie dough, put it in the fridge and turn on the oven then. I do my first batch about 10-15 minutes after I turn on the oven and make sure to turn the baking sheet around halfway through and check the oven often.)
2. Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
3. Either with a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer in a big bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add the sugar and beat for another 2 minutes or so, until well blended. Beat in the vainilla and the rest of the spices. Add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after adding each egg. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients. Add the chocolate chunks by hand with a spatula (if you are using chocolate.)
4. Spoon the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches in between.
5. Bake the cookies-one sheet at a time and rotating the sheet at midway point-for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are brown at the edges and golden in the center; they may still be a little soft in the middle, and that´s just fine. Pull the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for 1 minute, then carefully, using a wide metal spatula, transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature (you have my permission to eat some warm as well.)
6. Repeat with the remainder of the dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.