I’m a tea girl all the way.
This is partially because coffee makes me go legitimately insane: I experienced coffee for the first time at a Starbucks in Times Square. I subsequently couldn’t stop laughing and collapsed in the middle of the square. Oh and basically my entire grade, many tour groups of Asians, and annoyed native New Yorkers were there to witness it. Definitely ranks in the top ten most embarrassing moments of my life.
I also just absolutely love tea. When I was a kid, my mom would make me a mug of chamomile tea, then read to me until I fell asleep. And because I was sick so often, I was able to explore life on the frontier with Laura Ingalls Wilder, explore secret gardens and beautiful moors, and journey through Narnia with a magician’s nephew, English children, and a cast of awesome fantasy creatures as my guides. Despite the sore throats and fevers, it made being sick worth it.
So today after going to bed at 4:30am, I had to wake up at 8am for work. It was hell amplified by a terrible sore throat. After hours of teaching small children piano (aka texting aka passing out quietly in the corner), I hiked to the supermarket to buy granola bars and ended up buying all the ingredients for chai tea cookies.
Obviously, it was meant to be. These cookies are thick, soft, and spiced deliciousness crusted in cinnamon sugar. And best of all, they do taste like chai tea :)
Chai Tea Cookies (adapted from My Baking Addiction) – makes about 3 dozen
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
1 cup unsalted butter
12 tsp vanilla extract
8 tsp chai tea leaves
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice, and black pepper. Remove 1/4 cup of the sugar-spice mixture, set aside to reserve for rolling the cookies.
4. Heat butter and tea leaves for 5 minutes on low heat, until melted, then let stand for 5 minutes.
5. Sieve the butter, pressing the butter out of the leaves, then let the butter come to room temperature.
6. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar spice mixture until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
7. Beat in egg and vanilla extract, combine until fully incorporated.
8. Slowly blend in dry ingredients mixing until just combined.
9. Using a small scoop (2 tsp) roll dough into balls and then into the reserved sugar-spice mixture. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart.
10. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.
11. Let stand on baking sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.