So, really, how do you choose a cookie? Because if you have a better method than mine, I'd like to try it for next year. I started out knowing exactly what I wanted to make- an Italian cookie called a dardeed that my grandmother, and now my mother, makes every year. Then I remembered just how time consuming they are to make and that their thick coating of honey would make them difficult to ship. Oh well, scratch that idea.
Thanks to the recipients of my cookies, Cara (The Boys Made Me Do It) and Marnely (Cooking With Books) for the feedback and I'm so glad you liked them! I'm hoping my third box made it to Heather (Bake it. Create it. Love it.). As a fellow military wife who's hubby recently returned from deployment, she deserves a good cookie.
Chai Spiced Chocolate Crackle Cookies
Adapted from this Martha Stewart recipe.
1 chai tea bag
1/3 cup warm milk
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped or chips (I used Ghiradelli 70% cacao chips), melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp ground cardomom
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (8 tbs) butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
Steep the chai tea bag in the warm milk for 10-15 minutes. Remove the tea bag and squeeze any remaining liquid from it back into the milk.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, spices and salt. Set this mixture aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar by mixing on medium until they are light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla and mix. Then pour in the melted chocolate and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture in three batched alternating with the milk. Stir until all the ingredients are just combined. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator. You can also freeze the dough at this point to use at a later time.
When the dough is ready to use, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Pour the granulated sugar and powdered sugar into separate flat containers, such as pie plates or a large flat dinner plate. Scoop the dough into 1 inch balls and drop them first into the granulated sugar. Roll the cookie balls in the granulated sugar to coat and then roll them in the powdered sugar also to coat. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheets. Bake for 14 minutes. The cookies will have puffed and the sugar coating will have "crackled". The cookies will feel firm to the touch.
Cool the cookies for a minute or two on the cookie sheet then transfer them to a baking rack to cool completely.
A big thank you to the following ladies for their fabulous cookies, check them out!
Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean
Melissa from I was Born to Cook
Jessie from Body and Soul Food