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Chewy Chai-Spiced Sugar Cookies

8 Jun
Chai-Spiced Sugar Cookies

I know you guys were salivating over the placeholder picture of these cookies I had up for 6 months before actually getting a chance to start my blog…and here’s the recipe finally!  I’ve had a super busy week and I’m preparing to head over to New Hampshire for my cousin’s graduation on Friday, so I’ve been running around like crazy trying to get ready.  So with that said, please forgive me for just the one brief post this week, and a not very personalized one at that.   In the recipe’s defense, Cook’s put together a recipe so flawless that it doesn’t need any adjustments from me anyway and you should not hesitate to whip up a batch as soon as you can.  The long ingredient list is daunting, but not so scary once you realize that most of it is just spices that make the cookies delicious.  I brought a batch of these into the spa I go to and they were gone before my nails were dry!  A sophisticated twist on the well-known sugar cookie.

Chewy Chai-Spiced Sugar Cookies
recipe from Cook’s Illustrated November 2010
Makes 2 dozen cookies

[Cook’s Note: 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 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 sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon 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 1 ½ 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 (don’t overbake! – EB), 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.
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