It’s time to think about sweet Autumn treats. I love cookies with the warm spices of fall, a perfect snickerdoodle or a pumpkin spice cookie, but I have always tried to change things up a little with recipes like Maple Spice Crinkles,Gingerbread Pillows or Clove Cookies. And now these Chewy Chai Crinkles. I don’t like coffee, so the entire coffee house trend pretty much passed me by. On the occasions I do go to a coffee shop (they are great for meetings), I order chai tea drinks. I love tea and the spicy flavor adds a special touch. And I really enjoyed actual, real deal chai in India from street vendors that sell it in little terra cotta cups that you break and throw away. The blend of spices that make up the heart of chai are a favorite of mine, a hint of spice, warming and just the thing as the weather brings a chill.
The magic of these cookies is that they remain soft and chewy. Cornstarch and chilling the dough help create the texture of these cookies, so don’t skip the chilling. The dough is thick but will roll easily in your hands. The dip in sugar creates a lovely, crackly, sparkling exterior that is a highlight of these morsels. Don’t be put off by the black pepper – you don’t particularly taste it, but it adds a touch of mystery and a little bite that creates the chai experience. For more chai flavors, try Chai Spiced Swirl Bread.
Chewy Chai Crinkles
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon cardamom
A few grinds of black pepper
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cups unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 ¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup granulated sugar
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamon and a few grinds of black pepper until combined. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, corn starch and salt. Add the spices and whisk until well combined.
- In another bowl, use a fork to blend the melted butter and brown sugar together until no lumps are visible. Add the egg and vanilla and mix to combine completely. Scrape the sugar mixture into the flour mixture and stir well to completely combine. The dough will be thick – you may want to use your hands to knead the dough at the end so there are no visible streaks of flour. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to three days.
- When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the granulated sugar in a small bowl. Take the dough from the fridge and let soften for 10 – 20 minutes, until you can roll it onto balls. Roll Tablespoons of dough into balls, then roll the balls in the sugar and place an inch apart on the baking sheets. Flatten slightly with your fingers, then bake for 9 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking sheets.
- The cookies will keep in an airtight container for 3 days.