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Masala Chai Molasses Cookies


Masala Chai Molasses Cookies

I’m just getting around to posting the recipe for the cookies that my wife, Kathy, made for the Red Lodge Christmas Stroll, but here you go, just in time for Christmas!

Sometimes when you’re cooking with tea, the objective is to be subtle. In this case, it’s not. Kathy wanted to add ginger to her molasses cookie recipe, and it takes something strong to stand up to all of the flavor in these cookies. She selected the Ginger Cookie Chai from our shop, which is a caffeine-free, rooibos- and caramel-based blend with lots of ginger. You could use pretty much any masala chai blend for this, but if you want to duplicate these delicious results, pick one with caramel that’s heavy on the ginger!

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp ginger cookie chai (use loose tea, not syrup, powder, or tea bags!)
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp margarine
  • 1 cup white sugar (to mix with other ingredients)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (to roll cookies in)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Process

  1. Melt the margarine, stir in the loose tea, and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Water is good for extracting flavor from tea leaves, but the masala spices need the fats in the margarine (or butter, if you’re a purist) to pull all of the flavor out.
  2. Pour the margarine through a strainer or cheesecloth, and squeeze out everything you can. You’ll lose a bit of margarine, but don’t worry about it – that’s what the two extra tablespoons in the ingredient list is for!
  3. Mix the margarine infusion with 1 cup of the sugar and the egg. Mix until it’s smooth, and then stir in the molasses.
  4. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, and then blend them into the molasses/margarine mixture. Cover and chill for at least an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  6. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 1/2 cup of white sugar. Place them on ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the tops are cracked.
  8. Cool on a wire rack.

This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies.

It’s logomania! A MaterniTEA logo by Suzanna Bailey


MaterniTEA logoNew tea logos are coming fast and furious as our artist friends send us their guest drawings. Our latest is by the lovely and talented Suzanna Bailey. Let me tell you a little bit about this tea before I talk about the logo, though.

I am a tea lover, not an herbalist. Let me repeat that for emphasis: I am not an herbalist. I am not trained in the healing powers of herbs (and I believe that most of the claims about most of the herbs are horse-hockey, but that’s another story), but I know what people ask for at the tea bar. We seem to have a lot of pregnant women in town these days, and most of them come in requesting either ginger or mint for their morning sickness.

I did some reading, and found that most of the published studies agree that those are two herbs that settle the stomach well. I know ginger works for me. Doing a straight ginger-mint blend, however, tasted pretty wretched. I started monkeying around with combinations — carefully avoiding caffeine — and came up with MaterniTEA. It uses green rooibos, Egyptian chamomile, and honeybush as its base, along with the aforementioned organic peppermint and ginger. A touch of orange extract for flavor, and we have something that tastes good as well as helping with the nausea that triggered this whole thing.

In keeping with the philosophy I described in the last tea label post, I didn’t give Suzanna any specific instructions. I just described the tea and threw out a few adjectives like “soothing” and “relaxing,” and got out of her way. She came back with several pages of ideas and sketches, and one of them really caught my eye. My wife, Kathy, and I absolutely loved the look of the steam rising from a teacup in the shape of a pregnant woman.

Suzanna has an amazing eye for color, so she did all of the drawing and the coloring for this one — she just asked if I could fill in the lettering. Once again I am thrilled with the results and we’re having posters made of all of our custom tea logos.

Thank you, Suzanna!

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