Not a great photo – my first try at photographing food. I have a lot to learn. Ugh, that is too much yellow! Hopefully, someday this will be my “before” photo, to compare to much better versions.
However, the cookies are delicious! I’ve been a bit obsessed with chai spices lately – chai teas, buying the bulk spices to make my own combinations, and finding ways to use them in baking. I wanted to find a chai chocolate chip cookie recipe, and my Google search only brought up this one. It looks great but not exactly what I wanted to do. But it inspired me that it could work.
Then I experimented: I baked a pan with two dough-only cookies, two with dark chocolate chunks, and two with choclate chunks plus cinnamon chips, and also two of each of those versions rolled in turbinado (raw) sugar. Fritz and I taste-tested all of them. I ended up making the rest of the batch with both chips and not rolled in sugar; next time I would make some with no chips, rolled in sugar for sure.
The plain ones were actually really good, and if I hadn’t been so focused on adding the chocolate part, I would have baked up more of those. And I wish I had made some with just cinnamon chips – will try that another time. The chocolate is great in them, but I think the spice takes a bit of a back seat. So I’ll still be tinkering with these to get the balance I want. I am very pleased with the batter itself – great taste and texture, and the cookies have that soft/chewy synergy I like.
I made a couple of pans right away, and the rest after letting the batter rest in the fridge overnight. I think that made the spice more intense, and as OCG says, it has a positive impact on the cookie in general. (Can you tell I’m a big fan of his blog and his recipes? He’s not just the Oatmeal Cookie Guy, he’s the Oatmeal Cookie Guru!)
I just took some to a neighborhood gathering and they went over great. One neighbor especially liked them, particularly the cardamom. So my comment below to reduce the cardamom definitely wouldn’t be her preference. :-) See, it’s a very individual thing, those Chai spices.
CHAI-SPICED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
2 sticks butter (I used unsalted)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
2 cups finely ground oatmeal
1 1/2 cups coarsely ground oatmeal
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt (use 1/2 teaspoon if using salted butter)
Chai spice mix:*
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground dried orange peel
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
*This is the spice combo I used, and it worked fine. I would probably experiment next time with a little less cardamom and a little more cinnamon, ginger and pepper. Maybe add a little clove, also. Really, you can play with the spices and tailor the mix to your liking. And I may try it with the actual chai tea mix sometime, either dry or brewed.
1 1/2 – 2 cups dark chocolate chunks (I used Whole Foods 365 – you could try semi sweet chips instead or a chopped chocolate bar)
3/4 cup cinnamon chips
—I might try a little less chocolate and a little more cinnamon next time, and also some with cinnamon chips only.—
Cream butter and sugars together. Add eggs, vanilla and milk; beat well. Stir in dry mixture a little at a time. Chips can be included in that mixture, or you can stir them in separately.
Drop by 1-2 tablespoon size balls onto parchment or Silpat. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 (11 minutes was perfect in my oven.) Let stand on cookie sheet 1-2 minutes, then cool on wire rack. Makes 6 dozen.