I am going to be very honest with you right now. The Great Blogger Cookie Swap was happening and the deadline for shipping was only days away. I had assumed, this whole time, that I was going to make cardamom/rosewater palmiers and had planned to make them at the very last minute to ensure their freshness upon delivery. As the time approached, I started panicking. What if they got lost in the mail? What if the Canada Post truck fell down a sink hole? What if my recipients opened their package only to find stale, horrible palmier train wreck cookies that would bring shame upon all of our houses???
Instead, I made the Cardamom Quince Layer Cookies that went out to the three bloggers who were assigned to me. These are really good but very strongly flavoured and when they are warm, out of the oven, they are incredibly cardamomish and after eating one like that, I had a mild breakdown. THEY WERE NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO SEND TO OTHER FOOD BLOGGERS FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING OH HOLY NIGHT!
Because I was kind of freaking out, I decided to make something more tried and true and whipped up yet another batch of cookies the next day. I like to bake with tea and I have used this recipe before so I knew it worked and I knew they would be a bit safer and delicious. They are, more or less, a shortbread cookie and very light and a bit crisp while they still manage to melt in your mouth. You really can't go wrong with a chai tea cookie, can you?
In the end, Shack gave his picky toddler blessing to the Cardamom Quince Layer Cookies (which mellow out once they cool to room temp) so those are ended up in the gift boxes but these cookies are currently being devoured by The Kid and will not make it until Christmas unless I freeze them tomorrow, which I might very well do. He is inhaling them by dipping about 6 to every cup of chai tea and at this rate, I estimate that we will be out of cookies by the end of the week.
Chai Tea Cookies
approx 4 dozen cookies
2 cups AP flour, more for dusting
2 heaping tbls ground chai tea
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup room temp butter
1/2 cup confectioner sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
about 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios (optional if you aren't nutty)
Grind the chai tea to a powder. I use a mini food processor and when it's almost totally ground up , I add 1/4 cup of the flour and pulse that for a bit until it looks good. I don't have a spice grinder so if you have one, just grind it up in that or, if you don't have any of these things, grind it up in a pestle and mortar.
Cream the butter and sugar in the stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed for about 3 minutes til it's really creamy. Add the vanilla right at the end.
Turn the speed down to the lowest setting and add the flour and mix until it's just incorporated.Lay a piece of parchment on the counter and put half of the dough onto the parchment and roll and pat, using the parchment, until you have a rectangular log that is about an inch and a bit on each side. I like to make the logs square because then you don't have to worry about one side of your log flattening out while it rests in the freezer and it makes it easier to just dip one side in the nuts before baking.
Wrap the whole log up in the parchment and repeat with the other half. Put both parchment wrapped logs in the freezer for an hour. (if rolling in the nuts, take it out after about half an hour and carefully unwrap and press one side of the square log into the nuts, rewrap and return to the freezer)
Preheat the oven to 350F
Take the logs out of the freezer and let them sit for a few minutes to soften up just a bit. Cut the logs into 1/4" slices. Space them an inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake till the edges just start to go golden, 13 to 15 minutes.Let them cool for a few minutes on the sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.