Monday, December 19, 2011

Chai Spice Sugar Cookies

The Christmas season isn’t complete without cookies. Something about the smell of sugar and butter, maybe with a touch of spice, brings out the Elf in us. (It doesn’t hurt that around here it has been chilly, so I don’t mind the extra heat from the oven.) Naturally, I couldn’t let Christmas go by without a Chai Spice Sugar Cookie.

By reducing the sugar, and adding a bit of honey I ended up with a nice, chewy cookie. I chose to use an organic, unfiltered, raw honey because it has a far better taste than the filtered store varieties that have been making the news lately. I have seen numerous reports about the bottled variety that never failed to disappoint me in recent years, only to find out that a lot of what we find on store shelves has been ultra-filtered to the point that almost all pollen has been removed (in part to help hide the source, as pollen is like a fingerprint that helps to identify the region where it is produced). In the case of honey, all that glitters isn't gold, and in my opinion the the processing and filtering takes out the flavor that makes honey really enjoyable.

·         ½ cup butter *this was originally listed incorrectly as ¼ cup 
·         1 cup sugar
·         ¼ cup honey
·         1 egg
·         2¼ cups of flour
·         ½ tsp salt
·         ½ tsp baking powder
·         ¼ tsp cinnamon
·         ¼ tsp coriander seed powder
·         ¼ tsp allspice
·         1/8 tsp ginger
·         1/8 tsp cloves
·         1/8 tsp nutmeg
·         1/8 tsp cardamom
·         1/8 tsp white pepper
·         1/8 tsp mace
·         Additional sugar for dipping cookies in before baking

Cream butter, sugar & honey.
Add egg and beat well.
Whisk dry ingredients together and add them to the butter mixture, stirring only as much as is needed to fully incorporate all ingredients
Pack the dough into an airtight container and chill at least 1 hour.
When ready to bake, Preheat oven to 350°F (app. 175°C*)
Prepare cookie sheets by lining with parchment.
Scoop dough in app 1 Tbsp dough balls (I used a #60 cookie dough scoop). Flatten the dough into ¼” thick discs and roll them in sugar.
Bake for app. 13 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet.

*I use an online conversion chart and round up or down, as seems appropriate. Please adjust according to your judgement, and send me a message if you find an error. Thank you.

Showing on this day 2010: Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls


RebeccaMom said...

Yummy Cookies :)

I had no idea that there were people studying the palynology of honey, but after reading the article it makes sense. $$$ I buy honey from someone local, and it is sooo good :) I have heard that eating local honey (with the local pollen included) can help our bodies adjust better to the pollen and thereby reduce allergic reactions to them (my hay fever!). So far so good for me... I'm don't have certain scientific evidence, but I think the closer to natural state, the better!

Heidi a/k/a Thistle said...

Hey RebeccaMom! I agree that the closest we can find to the natural state the better. My understanding is that by true definition, honey must contain pollen, and the highly-processed/ filtered version is no longer even true honey. By filtering out the identifiable pollen that would indicate the country of origin, sellers can circumvent the high tariffs imposed on Chinese honey because of lead and chloramphenicol (dangerous antibiotics), and the watered-down pseudo-honey. The honey that I use is so thick that it reminds me of the spun honey that I used to enjoy as a kid.

Kim said...

Speaking of that.. just added honey to the list. Can't go without that!! These sound sooo good!

Heidi a/k/a Thistle said...

We like these, although I eventually began to double the spices in most of my old recipes; I just really enjoy super spicy cookies.