There’s something about November specifically that makes me want to reach for my collection of cookie cutters. I pour them out onto the table, take stock of what I have in the way of Christmas shapes and remind myself I should probably refrain from buying more no matter how tempted I might be by HomeSense and their wily festive displays. I wonder why I’ve not really baked cookies since this time last year when I’ve all these lovely cutters that I’ve hardly used. I vow to bake cookies all year round from this month onwards and make use of this dinosaur and that polar bear and those moons and stars.
I never do, obviously, what with being a bit useless and all. I’m just not much of a baker, as much as I’d love to be. While I enjoy the process (when not under the mild stress of the bake off bake along, that is), its scientific nature doesn’t gel with my spontaneous and eternally distracted personality. You really have to pay attention when you’re baking, and a small mistake can have disastrous consequences that render your efforts completely fruitless.
Having said that, cookies are the least screw-uppable bake there is, I think. Just creaming of butter and sugar, incorporating of dry ingredients, chilling, cutting, baking. So long as you get your measurements right, it’s mostly plain sailing. There’s something about the smell of cookies that permeates the house more intensely than other bakes too, and something about taking batches out baked and putting new ones in that feels therapeutic. This is me trying to convince myself to bake more cookies.
I came across this recipe on the wonderful Sugar and Soul. I’ve changed absolutely nothing bar the fact that I’m using Twinings chai (not sponsored, though if you do want to check out my work with them see here) tea bags instead of earl grey. I first made this recipe with the original tea for Tom’s mum earlier in the summer, as a thank you for the food mixer she bought us as a housewarming gift. I remember thinking at the time that the cookies would probably be lovely with chai tea instead. That was in August. It’s taken me three months to follow up on that thought.
This recipe is blissfully easy, especially if you have a food mixer. Thanks to its lack of eggs, it’s also incredibly simple to veganise. Just swap out the butter for a vegan spread of some kind or another and you’re laughing. These are absolutely ideal for enjoying with your cup of tea on a blustery November afternoon – treat yourself.
Recipe adapted (just barely) from Sugar and Soul
Makes 24 cookies (depending on cutter)
225g salted butter, room temp
75g icing sugar
350g plain flour
2 chai teabags
- Pre heat your oven to Gas Mark 4 (conversions here) and line two baking trays with baking parchment.
- Cream butter and icing sugar until fluffy.
- Add flour, salt and tea leaves from the teabags (just snip them open and pour in the contents). Mix again until a dough forms. Persevere with this, it will seem like breadcrumbs for a long time before finally coming together.
- On a work surface lightly dusted with flour, roll out the dough to about half a centimetre thick. Cut rounds (or whichever shapes you like) and place on the baking trays.
- Bake for around 20-22 minutes or until the edges are beginning to turn a golden colour. You may need to do this in batches.
Keep in an airtight container and they’ll be good for at least a week.