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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Chai Latte Creams

Drink your chai latte and eat it too with these rich, melt-in-the mouth sandwich cookies...


From when I first put vanilla chai into my cake I knew me and this spiced tea were going to be good friends for life!

This time though I'm varying my chai experiment to the plain simple chai latte powder, using this one.   It's unbelievably easy to use in baking because you just throw it into whatever you're making and it won't alter the consistency of your batter, unlike using regular liquid tea/coffee.


I know you could alternatively haul your spice cupboard out and grind up cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, but seriously who has time for that anymore?! There's a time and place for everything and yesterday just wasn't that day, because when you've got a chai latte mix lying around...why bother?



I think I've found a happy medium here of not too much or too little spice. So it's avoiding that overly subtle barrier but at the same time it's not an overpowering hit, because if you have too much then it all just begins to taste way too aromatically sweet with all that cinnamon in there.


I've not been hooked on this drink of choice for long, not till a year or two back when I first tried it in CafĂ© Nero, from then on I've always been lulled in (especially around Winter time because there's nothing more Christmassy than a bit of cinnamon in your hot milky drink - someone once told me it was like drinking wood, I don't believe it goes to that extent! But it's a funny metaphorical way of putting it.)



This recipe makes 8 sandwich cookies in total, not a lot but they are quite humongous so they do fill that space! If you want though you could leave them just as they are and have 16 plain cookies but I prefer to have the extra spiked hit of chai latte buttercream in between and boy do they taste good with it.




(Or equally you could just make them smaller, when you roll the cookie dough into golf ball shapes, just make teenie weenie golf balls instead - just remember that they cook a tad quicker than the suggested times below.) Then that size would make a perfect petit four, fit for any afternoon tea treat.



Chai  Latte  Creams

Makes 8



Ingredients

170g self raising flour
1 ½ tbsp chai latte drinking powder
100g caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 medium egg

For the buttercream filling
75g very soft unsalted butter
150g icing sugar + plus extra for dusting (optional)
1 ½ tsp chai latte drinking powder

Method


Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas 3. To make the cookie dough put the flour, chai latte powder and sugar into a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until combined. Then add the cubed butter and blitz until the mix comes together and starts to clump into one piece of dough.  At this stage stop the processor and with floured hands remove the dough and place onto a floured work surface.

Knead lightly until it just comes together and then with a knife keep cutting the dough to divide it into 16 equal sized pieces. Flour your hands well then shape each piece into a neat ball. Arrange them well apart to allow for spreading on 2 greased and lined baking trays and bake them in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until firm to touch and lightly golden.

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and leave to cool completely before icing together. To make the buttercream beat together the butter, icing sugar and chai latte powder until smooth, thick and creamy. Then use this to sandwich the halves together, to finish dust with some icing sugar (optional).

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