It seems that all of my friends are coming out with cookbooks this year, which is awesome because it means I get to beef up my collection. It also means that I need another bookshelf, but we’ll worry about that later. My buddy Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen recently released her book, The Year of Cozy, and I have to say that I absolutely love it. It’s full of great recipes, of course, but it’s more than that – it’s got lifestyle tips that are actually relevant to my interests, like how to make your own salt cellar, how to package fun food gifts, and how to have a staycation. Yes, please, to all three. How she is an amazing cook and general how-to-live-your-best-life guru, I’ll never know, but she also has a really cute corgi, whose photos are sprinkled throughout the book as well, so you should definitely grab a copy if just for that. Anywho, I saw these Chewy Chai Snickerdoodles in the book and I have to give them a go. It’s almost the time of year where you’re ready to go baking crazy, making cookies and cakes and pies and all of that for friends and neighbors and bosses that need a little sweetening up – why not start with these? Everybody loves chai, be it that sickeningly-sweet concoction you get from Starbucks (i.e. my preferred elixir of life in college) or the really good, spicy stuff you can get from your neighborhood’s specialty market. I know some people that even make their own chai mix at home, passed down from their parents and now making their own kitchens smell like fragrant oases (that is apparently the plural for oasis – I looked it up). However you enjoy usually enjoy chai, this is a step beyond the rest. The outsides of the cookies are perfectly crispy, while the insides are wonderfully chewy, and the chai flavor really comes through, which is why I highly recommend dunking these suckers in a tall glass of cold milk, you know, for the full effect. Happy baking season! I can smell the cinnamon and cloves already.
Me (haiii), on a photo shoot with Marcus Samuelsson (!!!), having some drinks in the neighborhood, and the final product of another photo shoot with Jamie Bissonnette (!!!). Life is good.
I suppose I haven’t update you guys on other aspects of my life recently, but to be honest work has kept me incredibly busy and I struggle to find time to do normal, everyday things, like laundry or brushing my hair or putting said laundry away. Ugh, I hate laundry. Where’s my laundry robot? While it’s been really hectic, at least I’m doing some really cool stuff, photos of which I absolutely cannot wait to share. I’ve been on photo shoots with Jamie Bissonnette, Marcus Samuelsson, Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske, Kenji Lopez-Alt, Angela Dimayuga and Sam Anderson from Mission Chinese, and so many more. It’s kind of awe-inspiring. These people are amazing at what they do, and I’ve been getting to head into their kitchens with my camera and take photos of them while they do their thing. I’m really proud of the pictures that I’ve taken, and I hope that they love them as much as I’ve loved taking them. I hope that this will continue to be a major part of my job – finally being able to take photos for at least part of my actual, full-time gig has been a dream of mine for a really long time and being able to do it blows my mind a little bit. If you don’t already read MUNCHIES on a regular basis, please do so, and you’ll see my photos pop up from time to time! Life update over.
There’s nothing I like to see more than some cookie ingredients.
Try not to eat the batter.
Roll the dough into 2-tablespoon sized balls, then roll them in your sugar and spice mixture.
Flatten them just a bit, then throw some extra sugar on there and bake until just golden on the edges.
See? Then let ’em cool for a bit before moving.
I highly recommend these with a glass of milk for dunking.
I call this one: Cookie in Outer Space.
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I only had creme fraiche, so I used that and it seemed to work, though I think cream cheese would have been better)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and warm
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup raw or granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of ground cardamom
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, allspice, and pepper.
- In a large bowl (preferably in a stand mixer), add the sugar, cream cheese, and butter. Beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, then add in the oil and beat until incorporated. Add in the egg, milk, and vanilla, and beat until smooth. In 2 additions, add the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until mixed but not over-mixed!
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together the ¼ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and pinch of cardamom. Scoop out 2-tablespoon sized balls of dough, roll in the sugar mixture, then use your hands to roll into a more perfect ball and place each ball of dough on your cookie sheet, placing 6 to 8 balls of dough on each sheet, depending on how much room you have. Use the palm of your hand or a glass to lightly flatten the cookie (and I mean * lightly *), then sprinkle the tops with some of the remaining sugar and spice.
- Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through, until the edges are just browned. Repeat with your remaining dough (I ended up doubling my sugar and spice coating). Let the cookies cool before removing them from the trays and baking more. These will keep great at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to 4 days.