Friday, October 1, 2010

Officially Fall

Fall always makes me want to cook again. The Professor loves fall!

This recipe is finally published. If you like Chai-tea Latte's (Katie M.) this is one of the better sugar cookies I have ever made. It is from Cook's Illustrated to which I have an on-line subscription.

These confections are large and scrumtious. They actually bake exactly as pictured.

Chewy Chai-Spice Sugar Cookies

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

The final dough will be slightly softer than most cookie dough. For the best results, handle the dough as briefly and gently as possible when shaping the cookies. Overworking the dough will result in flatter cookies.

2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar , plus 1/3 cup for rolling
2 ounces cream cheese , cut into 8 pieces
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter , melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Place 1½ cups sugar, cream cheese, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and black pepper in large bowl. Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in shallow baking dish or pie plate and set aside. Pour warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine (some small lumps of cream cheese will remain but will smooth out later). Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until soft homogeneous dough forms.

3. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces, about 2 tablespoons each (or use #40 portion scoop). Using hands, roll dough into balls. Working in batches, roll balls in reserved sugar to coat and evenly space on prepared baking sheet, 12 dough balls per sheet. Using bottom of drinking glass, flatten dough balls until 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle tops evenly with 4 teaspoons of sugar remaining in shallow dish (2 teaspoons per tray), discarding any remaining sugar.

4. Bake, 1 tray at a time, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating tray after 7 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets 5 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

The weather is coolish and the weekend is upon us, what better than to make a batch of these, curl up with a nice cuppa' and watch a good movie. Ahhhhhh ....fall.

Credits: Cook's Illustrated, J.A.G. for the marvelous taste test.


  1. Ma Soeur,
    I have a friend who is going to be housebound for a while due to recent knee surgery. The plan is to arrive with lunch for her one day next week. Thank you for the perfect dessert recipe at just the right time. I heard of someone who attempted to have just a bite of one of these delights, and discovered that to be an impossibility. Merci.

  2. Love Chai Tea! The cookies sound delish!!(and I don't even like cookies)

  3. Thank you for sharing this; it's finally cool enough to fire up the oven and get baking again!

  4. What is a girl to do when it's after 10 a.m. and she's feeling peckish, but has no flour? I really wish there was some way to sned these cookies digitally.

  5. Susan,
    I bet you could convince Lennie to bring you over a plate of cookies. She's always up late anyway, and she did say she was baking again :)

    No,it's quite impossible to have just one bite. I guess I'll have to bake a batch to take to my next workout class. Can't believe anyone would not love these cookies, I'll convert you to the dark side yet Dev.!

  6. um...yum! You're making some for me, right? lol....

  7. Those look great - and must smell fantastic while they are baking!! I can remember the first time I had a chai tea latte, on a chilly day - it was heavenly...