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Tag Archives: cooking with tea

Chewy chai cookies

There’s something wonderfully comforting about oatmeal cookies, especially ones with soft chewy centres. We regularly make variations of our chewy oaty biscuits, which Nicholas likes to both make and eat, but I wanted to try making some with the warm and lightly spiced flavour of my beloved vanilla chai tea.

While these are not the healthiest snack, I’ve reduced the sugar content quite a bit (by a third!) so you can feel less guilty eating them. If you prefer sweeter cookies you can also add a handful of raisins or sultanas to the cookie dough.

Oatmeal oaty biscuits

If you can’t get hold of vanilla chai teabags, look at my tip below the recipe for recreating the flavours with spices you probably already have in your cupboard.

I make these quite small (they’re about 5cm in diameter after cooking), so you can indulge with less guilt. The recipe is easily doubled though if you prefer to make bigger ones.

CHEWY CHAI COOKIES

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10-12 mins
Makes 12 small cookies

60g butter, chopped
1 tbsp honey or agave nectar
75g (1/2 cup) rolled oats
50g (1/2 cup) plain flour
50g (1/4 cup) soft brown sugar
2 vanilla chai tea bags (leaves only)

Preheat your oven to 160C and line an oven tray with baking paper.

Gently melt the butter and honey (or agave nectar) either in the microwave or in a small saucepan. Leave to cool.

Mix the oats, flour, sugar and tea leaves together in a medium-sized bowl.

Pour in the cooled melted butter and honey, and mix until combined.

Roll the mixture into small balls and place well apart on the prepared tray. Press down with the back of an oiled spoon to flatten them slightly.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until just starting to turn brown, flattening them again with the back of an oiled spoon after about 5 mins of cooking. (If you prefer crunchy cookies, cook them for a few minutes longer until turned golden brown.)

Leave the cookies to cool on the tray for 5 mins to firm up before transferring them to a wire rack to completely cool.

Variations:

  • Use a dairy-free margarine instead of the butter to make dairy-free cookies;
  • Add a handful of dried fruit such as raisins, chopped dried apricot, dried apple or dried strawberries;
  • Add chocolate chips to the mixture or drizzle the baked cookies with melted chocolate;
  • Add flaked almonds.

Tip: instead of using the vanilla chai tea leaves, make your own chai spice mix by combining 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp ground allspice, a pinch of ground cloves and a pinch of freshly ground pepper. Also add 1/2 tsp vanilla essence to your cookie dough.

AlphaBakes Logo

I’m linking this recipe to the AlphaBakes monthly challenge (this month it’s the letter β€˜C’) jointly hosted by Caroline from Caroline Makes and Ros from The More than Occasional Baker (and I’m quietly very proud of achieving a triple letter ‘C’ this time ;))

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Cooking with Tea – Spicy Black Tea Cookies

A few months ago I happily reviewed two tea flavours from the Tea India range which had recently launched in the UK. And, just quietly, my period of drinking Vanilla Chai hasn’t stopped; I still love it.

The gorgeous award-winning chef Ravinder Bhogal is now working with Tea India, creating exclusive recipes using their wonderful premium tea blends and I’ve been given a sneak peek of some of them! Keep reading after the recipe to find out how you can get free tea from Tea India as well as all of Ravinder’s recipes.

Tea India, Ravinder BhogalI have to say that using tea for something other than a cuppa intrigues me. I once tried smoking steaks with lapsang souchong tea leaves (which already have a very strong smoky aroma); the steaks picked up very little extra flavour, but the house smelt like we’d had an indoor barbecue for several days!

Now I can say I’ve been successful in cooking with tea thanks to Ravinder’s recipes. Her spicy black tea cookies are a very interesting take on the humble oatmeal cookie. While I don’t think anyone would guess the ‘secret’ ingredient of black tea, its addition, together with some other more common spices, gives the cookies a lovely and very rich warm spice. I’m nibbling on one as I type πŸ˜‰

When I made them I was in a hurry when shaping the logs (Nicholas woke up early from his nap) and so made them much wider than the recipe. This meant the log was more difficult to slice cleanly later (I had to squish some broken off pieces of dough back into the cookie shapes). Even so, I ended up with 15 cookies, cutting the slices about 2cm thick, so Ravinder must be cutting her cookies quite thickly. Maybe slice a couple of different thicknesses to see which you prefer, or just leave it up to your kids to decide if they’re helping you make them.

Ravinder suggests eating the cookies warm (who doesn’t like a cookie almost straight from the oven?); they’re just as moreish and yummy cold.

SPICY BLACK TEA COOKIES

Prep time: 12-14 mins
Cook time: 15-20 mins
Makes 12-15 biscuits
They will keep in an airtight container for up to four days

2 Tea India black tea bags (leaves only)
125g butter, softened
100g soft brown sugar
70g self-raising flour
120g oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice

Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) and line two baking trays with baking paper.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and soft brown sugar.

Add the oats, flour, tea leaves and spices, and mix until well combined.

Roll the cookie dough into a log shape approximately 5cm in diameter. Wrap in cling film and chill for 5 minutes.

To bake, remove from the fridge, unwrap and slice into 12 even sized pieces. Place on the prepared trays.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are just golden brown.

Allow to cool on the baking trays before serving warm.

Tea India Range

Tea India has a Facebook promotion (until 3 June 2013, so be quick!),Β You & I and a Cup of Chai, where it’s giving you the chance to share a free selection of its finest Tea India blends with your friends and family. Find out more here.

Tea India will be releasing Ravinder’s recipes on their Facebook page over the next few months, including mouth-watering Cardamom Kisses using their Cardamon Chai tea. I’m lucky to be able to try these very soon, but you’re just going to have to keep checking back πŸ˜‰

Disclosure: I was sent two boxes of tea to sample and cook with. My opinions are honest and my own.