A grown-up cookie that’s packed with flavour
I’ve always loved snickerdoodle-type cookies and can’t believe how many variations of this classic recipe there are out of there. When I thought about creating a new, slightly ‘grown up’ cookie for my holiday entertaining, I turned to my recipe box and thought about adapting several recipes. This new creation which is a hybrid of a sugar cookie and a snickerdoodle is packed with flavour thanks to the generous flecks of chai-inspired seasonings, with just a bit of a peppery zing. I love that they are soft and chewy too. Note that you can halve all the ingredients to make a smaller batch; to halve the egg, simply crack it into a half-cup measure, beat it with a fork, then remove half the beaten egg and discard it.
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 3/4 cups white sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom *
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon very finely ground black pepper
- 1 cup softened (but not melted) butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
* buy a small handful of green cardamom pods then crack them open, extract the seeds and grind them in a mortar and pestle. You will find this ground cardamom to be much more flavourful and aromatic than what you can purchase pre-ground at the store.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, salt baking soda and baking powder; stir to blend and set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine sugar, ground cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and black pepper. Remove 1/4 cup of the mixture and save it for rolling the dough balls prior to baking the cookies.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use an electric mixer), beat the butter and sugar mixture until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add vanilla and egg; beat until well blended.
- Add the dry ingredients in three parts, blending after each addition. Note that the mixture will be a bit crumbly in texture, but it will come together when you work the dough with your hands.
- Cover the bowl and let dough rest, to hydrate the flour, for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Using your hands, shape the dough into 1 inch balls, rounding them by rolling between your palms.
- Roll each dough ball in the sugar and spice mixture then place the balls on the lined baking sheet, about two inches apart. With your hand or a spatula, flatten the balls so they are about 1/2 inch thick.
- Bake for 8 minutes; let rest on baking sheet for 2 minutes before carefully transferring to wire racks to finish cooling.
- Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to three days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Makes 3 – 4 dozen cookies depending upon the size of your dough balls.