Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chai Spiced Cookies with Toasted Pecans

I wore a dress as a skirt yesterday. And sandals. Cheap, flimsy aviator sunglasses were involved too. I had to put my hair up to fend off unsightly neck sweat.

What I'm trying to say is that we're finally, FINALLY into the throws of spring and nearly hitting summer. I've got less than a month left of school. I caught the scent of a charcoal grill in the afternoon air. People are lounging about and reading outside in the sun. All good things, all summery things.

So why did I make cookies that taste That bring to mind changing leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, and thick sweaters? That are neither a sweet and light lemony dessert or a crisp, refreshing beverage perfect for the sweltering heat to come?

Because I like to be difficult.

That, and it's the Midwest, so one day it's nearly 80 degrees and then next it won't reach 40. Like today, I’m back in a sweater and close toed shoes, with a forecast of rain looming over campus. I've accepted it. And use it as justification for these spicy, nutty, and warm cookies.

Loaded with spices and toasted pecans, these Chai Spiced Cookies with Toasted Pecans strike the perfect balance between heat and sweet. The perfect pair with warm cup of tea.

Chai Spiced Cookies with Toasted Pecans (makes 24 cookies)

1 ½ cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 TBSP chai spice blend, I used McCormick’s

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

1 whole egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. pecans (or other nut), toasted*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, chai spice, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy, another 2 minutes.

In three batches, slowly add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Make sure dry ingredients are fully incorporated before adding the next batch. Stir in nuts.

Using a large cookie scoop or ¼ cup measure spoon out dough onto prepared baking sheet 2 – 3 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven 8 – 10 minutes, or until edges are golden and middle is nearly set.

Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

*to toast nuts place in a dry skillet and cook over medium low heat until nuts begin to release their oils and become fragrant, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook – no one wants burnt nuts!

...Or with another cookie

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