Christmas time is baking time. I use a ton of flour and eggs and varieties of sugar and I make a minimum of three different cookies or it doesn't feel like Christmas. When I was growing up my mum and I would get our her box of recipe cards and go through and decide what we were going to make. Most were hand written recipes of my grandmother's which made them extra special. You could imagine the dozens of batches of squares or cookies made over the years by the little spotted stains and faded words on the cards. Almost every year included oatsies (an caramel-like oat base topped with chocolate), honeymoon squares (a shortbready bottom, gooey middle, topped with coconut, nuts and a maraschino cherry) and gingerbread houses. My mum and I are both big idea people. We love making plans and dreaming up amazing creations. Sometimes they turn out but often they don't or they morph into something different along the way. Most years we would pick an overly complicated gingerbread mansion or extravagant scene, and my mum would spend an obscene amount of time neatly cutting out all the pieces like the diligent lady she is. A bunch would end up being mis-shapened, others broken, and icing was everywhere you looked. They would always come together by the end but had transformed into something new (usually a dilapidated sort of barn-house structure with a faulty looking chimney). The best part was the decorating! We would get a ton of bulk candies and sprinkles and my mum, aunt, brother, sister, and I would decorate them. I always made trees from ice cream cones placed upside down covered in green sprinkles or frosting and a garden where I'd lay different coloured candies in rows like they were little cabbages and carrots. There was always at least one or more of us who would create a slightly morbid scene to add some flare and drama– a headless santa who had fallen off the roof, angry rabid reindeer, or santa hanging from a telephone wire. It was one of my favourite Christmas traditions.
These cookies are a reminder of those wonderful memories. They are reminiscent of something we would choose from the magic recipe box. Best dipped in some English tea, the chai spices are just enough to make you feel extra Christmasy and far less Grinchy.
Happy Holidays Lovely Humans! xx
CHAI SUGAR COOKIES
inspiration: Christmas baking with mum ♥️
the feels: warm flavours + crisp texture
eat with: English tea! Dunking is necessary. Apple butter, cappuccino, brewed coffee, glass of milk (nut or cow)
might like if you're into: gingersnaps, cardamom bread, making gingerbread houses, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, knitted sweaters, cardamom coffee,cozy quilts, the smell of pine, watching snow fall.
makes approximately 40 2-inch round cookies || prep time: 40 minutes // rest time: 2 hours // bake time: 30 mins total
- 188 g unbleached all-purpose flour (1 + 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp all spice
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 77 g dark brown sugar (1/3 cup packed)
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl combine all dry ingredients (except the brown sugar) and whisk until mixed evenly.
- In bowl for stand mixer, add butter and brown sugar and fit paddle attachment (or use hand blender). Mix on high speed until creamy. Add egg yolk, vanilla and honey and mix until combined. Add flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Roll the dough into a large ball, cover in plastic wrap and press into a thick disk. Refrigerate for 2 hours minimum up to 2 days.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly flour surface and roll out dough to 1/4" thick. Cut out cookies with cookie cutter (I used a 2-inch) and lay onto parchment lined baking sheet. Combine scraps of dough and roll out again, stamping new cookies. Bake for 7 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove and let cool on tray for a few minutes then move to cooling rack. Sprinkle with icing sugar when cool, if desired. Repeat until all cookies are baked or freeze extra dough if making less.
Store in airtight container on counter or freeze for longer preservation.
Recipe adapted from A Cozy Kitchen.