Mark had to work today, and it's always dangerous to leave me by myself on a Saturday. Out came the to-be-tried recipe lists, and when all was said-and-done, I had put three cardamom cookie recipes through the ringer - Chai Sugar Cookies, Chai Shortbread (naked and chocolate-dipped ... the chocolate-dipped was my own brain-child), and Sparkling Cardamom Cocoa Drops. But I don't want to overwhelm you with my new love, so I'll introduce you to it slowly - starting with the Chai Sugar Cookies. (Side note: My unofficial "official" tasters need to prepare themselves for a tasting care package - you know who you are!)
For the Chai Sugar Cookies, you start with the same-ol'-same-ol' stuff you'd think of for a sugar cookie - butter, sugar, eggs, flour, - but then you add this wonderful combination of spices that makes chai chai:
|The chai line-up ... vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, & black pepper.|
|Yummy little chai sugar balls.|
... bake 'em up, and enjoy! ... perhaps with a cup of chai tea.
|Aren't those crackled tops pretty?|
Chai Sugar Cookies
Source: Adapted from McCormick Gourmet
2 3/4 c. flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. ground cardamom
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper (I used 20 cranks of freshly ground pepper from my pepper mill)
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Additional granulated sugar for rolling
1. Mix first 8 ingredients (flour through black pepper) in a medium bowl; set aside.
2. Beat butter and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, on low speed of mixer, until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours, or until dough is firm and easy to handle.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in additional sugar. Place balls about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 6-8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 1 minutes. Remove to wire racks and cool completely.