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Thursday, December 11, 2008

You Must Chai This . . .


Anyone who knows me well will affirm that I have a slight obsession with CHAI (even my deodorant is Secret's "Vanilla Chai"). I worked in the cafe' at Barnes and Noble one summer, and got introduced to this lovely drink. And now that Wal-mart carries "Oregon Chai" concentrate, I can get my fix daily (except for those sad, sad days when I am out) and without too much harm to my grocery budget. Oh, and in case you are wondering, mixing the concentrate with whole milk instead of skim is soooo much better. But moving on . . .

So, my Bet.ter Homes and Gar.den magazine came with a recipe for "Chai Spice Girls." Anything with chai in the title catches my attention, so I decided to them a chai. (Okay I'm done with the play on words now . . ) The verdict--they are very, very good. If you like shortbread (and you like chai) you just can't go wrong. The spice flavor is mild (compared to some gingerbread recipes) and is the perfect compliment to a nice, hot cup of tea. The downside--the dough was tricky to work with. If you have made shortbread you know what I mean--it was quite crumbly. When you are attempting to roll dough and cut out shapes that is not a good thing. After I had removed the dough from the fridge and saw this hard, dry-looking mess I was kind of doubting it would amount to anything. (And I was quite annoyed with myself because I had doubled the recipe and used a grand total of SIX sticks of butter . . .) However, it all ended well, in cookie bliss. So, I am sharing the recipe below for anyone interested--it's a keeper. ;o)

Chai Spice Girls (or Boys)

2 spiced chai-flavor tea bags
3 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cups butter softened
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 TBSP molasses

1.Remove tea bag contents (3 tsp); discard bags. In medium bowl combine tea, flour, and pumpkin pie spice; set aside. (Now, I used 3 tsp. of McCormick "chai spice blend" I believe I found at Wal-mart).
2. In large mixing bowl beat butter for 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and molasses. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can; stir in remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until easy to handle
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets. On lightly floured surface roll half the dough at a time to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters.
4.Bake 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Decorate with a piped on powdered sugar icing or leave plain. Makes around 2 dozen (depending upon the size of your cookie cutter). Store in an airtight container for 3 days or in your freezer for 3 months.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

I remember a passing comment you made about the wonderful chai tea at the B&N field trip. Now that I know you have chai deoderant (who knew there was such a thing) I can definitely see you are hooked!!! :) What cute cookies. And I salute you for making a double batch of roll out cookies. That usually the kind of recipe I cut in half. ;)