Photo courtesy of Mihl at the fantastic seitan is my motor
This past Saturday, I woke to snow, which really means only one thing: it's time for the spicy stuff. It's the season for more pungent, richer, warming foods that fortify a lighter constitution at summer's end. In that spirit, I give you Chocolate Chai Cookies. These tea-spiced gems always have a place in my holiday cooking, and I really think you'll like their unique flavor and sugary crunch.
Steep some black tea just before whisking them together, and you can sip it while baking, and have enough for the 1/4 cup called for in the recipe.
Chocolate Chai Cookies
about 2 dozen cookies
6 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate
1 cup whole wheat flour
¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
pinch sea salt
½ cup canola oil
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup hot, strong black tea
¼ cup molasses (I like blackstrap; any variety is fine)
1 teaspoon baking soda
crystal or turbinado sugar, or evaporated cane juice, for rolling cookies
Chop chocolate into ¼” chunks. Set aside.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the canola oil, brown sugar, molasses, tea, and baking soda. The mixture will bubble up and appear to thicken slightly; continue whisking until no lumps remain. Add the flour mixture to the liquid, mixing well to combine. Stir in chocolate chunks. At this point, the dough can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to a month.
When ready to bake the cookies, preheat an oven to 325° F. Lightly grease one large or two smaller baking sheets. Form dough into 1” balls. Roll in evaporated cane juice, and place on the prepared baking sheet spaced 2” apart.
Bake 10-12 minutes (a few more if you've refrigerated the dough), until the cookies have flattened slightly and the tops are cracked; they should be soft to the touch, but covered with a crust. Allow to cool 5 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Or eat warm, with a glass of almond milk or a cup of hot coffee.