Have you ever added a teabag to your oatmeal while it was cooking? Just to add a little extra something? I don’t always eat oatmeal, but when I do, I like to add in a chai teabag for some extra flavour and zing. All those spices against the mellow oatmeal, it’s an easy way to make a flavoured oatmeal.
So when I read about an oatmeal cookie containing all the spices found in a masala chai tea?
I’m all over that.
Oatmeal raisin gets a bad rap as being the lesser sibling of the chocolate chip cookie. Although I am a total chocolate fiend, I think it’s not fair for poor oatmeal raisin. I believe it’s just a case of oatmeal raisin cookies are way easier to mess up.
If you overbake chocolate chip cookies, you’ve still got some chocolate to make up for it. If you overbake oatmeal raisin cookies, the oatmeal can make the whole thing seem more dry and more hard. If you use stale, bloomed chocolate, well the bloom is purely cosmetic, and it will probably melt away when you bake it.
If you use stale raisins… well let’s just say that I don’t think that’s what people mean when they say they like “chewy” cookies. These one try to avoid that problem by soaking the raisins in chai tea. But that’s not the main way we inject this cookie with “chai”.
A little cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, cloves and freshly ground pepper… now we’re talking chai. Well actually, we’re talking masala. Did you know that “chai” just means tea? Masala is the actual spice descriptor that we associate with “chai”. By saying “chai tea” we’re just saying “tea tea”. It’s like when people name their pet fish “poisson” because it sounds fancy.
If you don’t like oatmeal raisin, have you tried a recipe where to cookies are taken out when they’re not quite set yet and the raisins have been soaked?
How about a cookie spiced to add a little warmth, both directly through hits of cracked pepper and indirectly by pulling memories of a hot, steamy mug of tea?
And by the way, these cookies taste great with coffee. Don’t tell my teapot I said that.
Chai Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Recipe from Serious Eats
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 chai teabag
- 2 cups boiling water
- Let chai tea steep in boiling water for 5 minutes. Discard teabag. Let raisins steep in chai tea for 15 minutes, then drain.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter, dark brown sugar, and granulated sugar until fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture in two additions, beating until just combined. Stir in oats and raisins. Let dough chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop dough in rounded tablespoons onto baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 10-12 minutes.