I adore chai, in case you aren't aware. When Brad walks in the door and my hair is all crazy, the kids are imitating Nascar around my living room and there is a fire extinguisher sitting on the kitchen counter, he will just nod at me as I make a mad dash for my car. Starbucks is a mere 20 minute drive. 20 minutes until a Venti non-fat Chai Latte is in my happy little hands.
When I saw this recipe on one of my absolute favorite food blogs, Ezra Poundcake , I just knew that happiness was a mere 350 degrees away.
You will need: 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 3-4 teaspoons of chai (the contents of 2 bags of tea)* , 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (be sure that it is fresh or it will sabotage your cookies), 1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature, 1/2 cup shortening, room temperature, 1-1/2 cups of confectioners' sugar, sifted, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of a good pure vanilla extract.
* the original recipe calls for the contents of one bag of tea, but I thought that I would just go all in with two. I'm a rebel like that.
Be sure to sift together all of your dry ingredients. I know, I know. It's a pain, but it is worth it. I once found a Matchbox car in a bag of flour. I was all upset and ready to call the Flour Powers That Be until a certain 4-year-old started jumping up and down and yelling, "You found it!" I sift to save us all.
This is extremely straightforward. Cream together the shortening and butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add the confectioners' sugar and beat until combined. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat on low until everything is completely combined.
Slowly add the sifted dry ingredients. Beat until just barely combined. You can always finish mixing by hand. You don't want to over mix. Cover the bowl and allow to chill for at least 2 hours.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Once the dough is thoroughly chilled, roll into 1-inch balls and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. For Christmas this year I received an awesome gift from a very special friend of mine. Vanilla sugar. Yum. I thought that this would be the perfect time to try out the sugar that is lightly flavored by whole vanilla beans. I cross-hatched the cookies using a fork dipped in the vanilla sugar.
Bake these at 350 degrees until golden, but not brown. 10-12 minutes. Cool for just a minute and then move them to a cooling rack.
This is the perfect delicately flavored butter cookie. These also freeze extremely well. I have a few dozen in my freezer just waiting for the perfect moment. The question is, when isn't a perfect moment for a perfect cookie?