Make us your home page
Instagram

#CookClub recipe: Chewy Chai-Spice Sugar Cookies

Ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cardamom and ground cloves bring lots of flavor to Chewy Chai-Spice Sugar Cookies.

PATTY YABLONSKI | Times

Ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cardamom and ground cloves bring lots of flavor to Chewy Chai-Spice Sugar Cookies.

It can be hard to get into the holiday spirit in the weeks leading up to Christmas, when good gifting intentions give way to harried midnight present wrappings, the short winter days seem to evaporate into thin air and temperatures hover around 80 degrees.

But I've always found that food can help get me to a more festive place. Specifically, those iconic flavors that start cropping up around October: peppermint, pumpkin, eggnog. The other big flavor profile of the season is spice, especially those baking spices that go into making a classic gingerbread cookie: cinnamon, allspice, cloves and ginger. I'd add nutmeg, star anise and cardamom to the list.

This week's cover story is an ode to those spices, with a collection of recipes that highlight their sweet-spicy nature in everything from a traditional breakfast item to a cocktail to pudding.

We suggest finding whole, fresh spices (as opposed to the preground shakers found in stores) when you can and using them to make the recipes in this issue. They are so pretty that we put them on our cover, but they also provide a level of freshness that will surprise you.

Be careful to use a light hand. With most of these spices, especially in their whole forms, a little bit goes a long way. If you have any left over, know that they can keep for a few years in the pantry. Otherwise, a pot of cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and nutmeg simmering in water on the stove makes for a warm and cozy potpourri.

Our #CookClub recipe also follows the spice route, with a favorite of Times features designer Brittany Volk. She brings these cookies to our annual company potluck. They are loaded with spice, utilizing cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves and even black pepper to create a chai tea flavor in a soft sugar cookie. They are soft and addicting, and a festive way to kick off Christmas week.

Contact Michelle Stark at mstark@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8829. Follow @mstark17.

#CookClub recipe: Chewy Chai-Spice Sugar Cookies 12/18/15 [Last modified: Friday, December 18, 2015 3:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. St. Pete Coffee Tours offer a glimpse into the world of local craft coffee

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — What started as a small gathering of friends is now a growing business that has people hyped about St. Petersburg specialty coffee.

    At Craft Kafe, Jason Waits explains Kyoto-style drip coffee during a St. Pete Coffee Tour in May.
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Tuesday May 30

    Events

    Finding Neverland: The hit Broadway show follows the story behind playwright J.M. Barrie as he struggles to find inspiration to create Peter Pan, until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. 7:30 p.m., Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, …

    Mitchell Wray, Jordan Cole, Finn Faulconer and Ben Krieger as the Llewelyn Davies Boys in the National Tour of Finding Neverland. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
  3. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  4. Restaurant review: Features Gastropub in Riverview is fine as movie theater fare, but unimpressive otherwise

    Food & Dining

    Movies aren't exactly dying. Despite all the sturm und drang of predictions that Netflix and streaming videos would kill the cinema, global box office receipts hit $38.6 billion in 2016, a 1 percent gain over the previous year. But that doesn't mean going to the cinema is precisely what it was a generation …

    Soft pretzels are displayed with a beer at the Features Gastropub in the Riverview 14 GDX  theater in Gibsonton, Fla. on Thursday, May 25, 2017.   The 5,900-square-foot Features Gastropub open in the . This element of the project is the brainchild of Philadelphia chef Brian Duffy, who appears frequently on NBC's The Today Show and the Spike TV show Bar Rescue
  5. From the food editor: I love that food is a huge part of Master of None's transcendent second season

    Cooking

    Deep into a late-night binge of Master of None, Aziz Ansari's Netflix series that returned for its second season May 12, I realized I was laying as far back on my couch as possible, blanket clutched up to my chin, eyebrows permanently raised.

    Dev (Aziz Ansari) and Arnold (Eric Wareheim) eat lunch in Modena, Italy, in the second season of "Master of None."