As an old school snickerdoodle lover and native of the Land of Steady Habits, I was intrigued by the idea of chai snickerdoodles. Did you know (like me!) the snickerdoodle is a Connecticut original? :) I thought it would be interesting to make my own chai spice blend. It’s quite simple and makes the house smell fantastic!
2 teaspoons cinnamon (I used Penzey’s Chinese Cassia)
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground black and white peppercorns
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ a star anise
Adapted from Mrs. Nelson’s recipe, circa 1975, The Hartford Courant, tested by the Connecticut Light & Power Test Kitchen–and, of course, Katty’s Kitchen! Thanks kindly to TeenieCakes.com for introducing me to chai spice sugar cookies. What a fab idea! http://www.teeniecakes.com/2010/03/chai-spice-sugar-cookies.html
2 sticks butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cup flour
3 teaspoons baking powder (I used Paneangeli lievito vaniglinato per dolci)*
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons chai spice blend (recipe above)
*Thanks to my friend Joanna for explaining this is a double-acting baking powder, incorporating both baking soda and cream of tartar.
SUGAR ‘N SPICE FOR ROLLING
1 ½ tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 ½ teaspoons chai spice blend
Cream sugar, shortening, vanilla and eggs. Add dry ingredients. Combine and chill in the fridge for approximately 1.5 hours.
Use rounded teaspoonful of dough to form small balls. Roll in sugar ‘n spice mixture. Place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees F about 9 to 10 minutes.
Fun snippet from Mrs. Nelson’s original recipe: “Form in balls the size of small English walnuts.” Got that on visual?