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. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for July 29

    Top things to do in Tampa Bay for July 29

    Events

    Tampa Bay Comic Con: The fan convention's biggest crowd is expected today. Celebrity appearances include actors Kate Beckinsale, Rose McGowan and Michael Biehn from Terminator and Aliens. Doors open at 8 a.m. Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St., Tampa. $30-$40; 12 and younger free. (813) …

    Kate Beckinsale is appearing this weekend at Tampa Bay Comic Con. Miramax Film Corp (2009)
  2. Want to audition for Howl-O-Scream? Here's how.

    Florida

    How would you like a job that has you running all night, dodging punches and earning high marks from your boss if you make someone wet their pants?

    Lindsay Weppelman, a University of South Florida biomedical science student, plays a Zombie Bride in one of Busch Gardens' open-air scare zones at Howl-O-Scream 2016.  Photo courtesy of Busch Gardens.
  3. Tampa Bay Comic Con: Live blog, and 5 things to know before heading there

    Events

    Tampa Bay Comic Con returns to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend, expected to attract more than 55,000 like-minded nerds mingling with cosplayers, celebrities, artists and sellers of comic books and collectibles.

    Surrounded by the bridesmaids dressed as Disney princesses and groomsmen dressed as Marvel superheroes, Gwen Walter of Venice, Fla., kisses her husband, Shawn Walter, also of Venice, after their wedding ceremony on day two of the 2016 Tampa Bay Comic Con in the Tampa Convention Center on August 6, 2016. The pair got engaged at Megacon 2015 and were married wearing "Nightmare Before Christmas"-themed costumes. Two different couples were married in Room 24 on the second day of the Tampa Bay Comic Con 2016. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times
  4. Fast Times at Ridgemont High turns 35: Learn it. Know it. Live it

    Blogs

    Fast Times at Ridgemont High not only is the perfect time capsule of pop culture in the early ‘80s - all it needed was some tasty waves and cool buds = it’s also high art. How so? Leave it to me. I'm the full hot orator today. Did you know the cast actually featured three future Academy Award …