Chai Masala Biscuits

Whilst making a cup of masala chai the other week I was thinking what a good idea it would be to put some of the masala into a batch of biscuit/cookie dough. I’ve made spiced cookies before, with a bit of ginger or cinnamon, and the punchy chai masala would probably work just as well. And I am pleased to say it did!

The masala mix is made up of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, ground ginger and nutmeg, I bought some back from India, you can either buy some from your nearest Indian supermarket, grind your own or use the individual spices in the cookie mix. Some larger Tesco stores might even stock it now too.

I used a basic cookie dough from BBC Good Food, which if you read my blog regularly you’ll know is a site I use a lot, there are tons of recipes on there and their baking section contains lots of classic recipes – basic sponges, shortcrust pastry, fruit cakes, mince pies. Good stuff.

The biscuits are quite like shortbread, and the masala gives a nice little warmth. If you are a hardcore dunker (well done) I would suggest making them 1.5cm thick instead of 1cm as below.

Chai Masala Biscuits
adapted from BBC Good Food

Makes about 30 cookies, maybe more.I froze half the dough (wrapped in cling film and then put in a sandwich bag), my standard behaviour when making biscuits or cookies – so that I have a stash for when I really crave them.

250g softened unsalted butter
140g sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp of vanilla extract
295g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
5g chai masala or mixed spices

Optional:
50g chocolate melted with 5g butter (to keep it shiny) for dipping
Extra sugar and chai masala for sprinkling on before baking / onto the chocolate

Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 5 / Fan 180 / Electric 190 
Cream together your butter and sugar til combined well and nice and fluffy.
Add in the egg yolk and the vanilla extract and mix in well.
Sift in your flour and masala, mix in – you’ll need to get in with your hands here and knead to a dough. 
Add a tiny bit of water at a time if it seems a little dry.
Knead very briefly to a soft dough, wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes.

Roll out to about 1cm thick and cut into whatever shape you fancy, with a knife or cutters.
Lay on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. You can put them reasonably close together as they don’t spread too much during baking.
Sprinkling the biscuits with a little chai masala mixed with sugar before baking gives a nice crunch when they are baked.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes in the centre of the oven.
They can go from not cooked to brown in 30 seconds so keep an eye during the first batch, your oven may behave differently. 

Cool on a wire rack, you can either now eat them or dip them in melted chocolate and leave to set. 
I couldn’t stop fiddling around with them and sprinkled the unset chocolate with a little chai sugar for extra spiciness.

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