A FEW NOTES
1) I’m happy to announce that organic + 12 month aged REAL DEAL VANILLA EXTRACT is officially FOR SALE! If you’re giving it as a gift for the holidays (yes, plural – there’s more than one holiday in December), you’ll want to order it as soon as possible, as USPS gets bombarded with packages mid-December. Which means the recipient may not get it until later in the month. Or after the New Year.
>>> If you live outside the United States and wish to purchase vanilla extract, shoot me an email through my contact form with your whereabouts and I’ll calculate shipping + send you a Paypal invoice.
2) There will be a post for gingerbread cake with coconut whipped topping over on West Elm’s blog on Friday, so you should probably keep your eyes peeled because the cake is delicious. I tested the damn thing 11 times (because
I’m fucking crazy I refused to share a recipe for a cake with a small crater in the middle) (I have serious OCD about properly leavening things) so that’s a matter of fact.
3) I’ve been getting hella emails about updating the travel blog/posting a vegan guide to Europe, and you’ll be happy to know I’m working on both. The guide to Europe won’t be posted until after the new year but the travel blog will be updated in the very near future. Poland is up next and we’re still trying to decide how deep we want to go with what we experienced there. It was heavy. In a way that’s completely and utterly distressing (and almost traumatizing) until you realize how resilient we are as human beings; how beautiful it is that our capacity to rebound cannot be cheapened by the past. (Side note: Poland was one of my favorite places we visited during the trip. Next to Croatia and the Cinque Terre, of course.)
I’ll be back next week with a recipe for Thom’s birthday cake. Or maybe nog french toast. Along with homemade nog that’s free of weird thickeners and “natural” flavors. Get your dates and cashews and rum ready, folks!
Notes: If you’re not into the whole chai thing, add 1/4 cup warm milk to the batter instead. And use 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon in place of all the other spices in the sugar coating. Or you can swap the chai tea bag for a different tea of your choice (orange, gingerbread, etc) and get creative with the sugar coating (orange zest, brown sugar, etc). Feel free to add more spices to the dough, but I found the coating to be spicy enough. For a gluten free option, replace the flour with 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend and 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum. And for the love of baby Jesus, do not try substituting baking powder for the baking soda and cream of tartar. Just buy the damn jar of cream of tartar. Or ask your neighbor to borrow some and return an hour later with a plate of warm cookies.
MASALA CHAI SNICKERDOODLES
1/3 cup non-dairy milk
1 chai tea bag
1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup vegan butter
1 cup cane sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup cane sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two large baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper; set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a boil. (You can also do this in your microwave but microwaves freak me the hell out. Oh, and we don’t own one.) Pour the milk into a small bowl and steep the tea bag for 10 minutes. Once steeped, wring excess liquid from bag and set milk aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar; set aside. In a small mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, 1/4 cup of the chai milk, and vanilla extract, using a hand mixer on high speed, until combined. The mixture may look lumpy or curdled, but once you add the flour it will smooth out. Add the flour mixture in halves, beating on medium speed after each addition and just until combined. Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets and freeze for 15 minutes.
Prepare the coating in a small bowl by combining the sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and cloves. Remove baking sheets from the fridge and roll dough into round balls then into sugar mixture. Place them back on the baking sheet with at least 2 inches between each cookie. If you prefer thin snickerdoodles, gently press balls with the palm of your hand to just barely flatten the round tops. Bake at 350˚F for 8 minutes. Keep on baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cookies will keep for up to three days in an air tight container, but will likely be a bit harder on the third day.
Yield: About 30 cookies