When the holidays come around, you just have to do some sort of spiced cake or cookie. It has never been a tradition to make Christmas sweets in my family, but we always loved consuming them. Christmas in the United States meant eggnog and gingerbread houses; in Kerala there were plum cakes and fruit cakes that would last us well into the new year.
This year, of course, since I wanted to be SuperMom, I decided it was time to start my own Christmas baking tradition. So what if my son doesn’t have teeth yet? He can still see the pictures later. I didn’t want to make gingerbread, nor did I have the patience to make plum cake, so I decided to settle for a spiced cookie. I wanted something with hints of cinnamon and sugar, and I when I was searching for spiced cookie recipes, I found a simple and inviting one on Joy The Baker. The recipe was for brown sugar cookies. I adapted it and added a touch more spice and chocolate chips. And you know what? They turned out pretty darn good!
Visually, my cookies could have been pressed down a little bit more and made a little less slimmer so that it looked a little more appealing when stacked. (Too much use of the word little. I did not plan that.) But once I began eating them, I realized that when you encounter skinny cookies in the market everyday, it’s nice to have an old-fashioned, family sized cookie that covers the palm of your hand.
SPICED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (Adapted from Joy The Baker’s Brown Sugar Cookies)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 12 tablespoons softened butter (I used salted butter. If you are using unsalted, add half a teaspoon of salt when you are whisking together all the dry ingredients.)
- 1 1/4 cups demerara or brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger. Set aside.
- Place butter and demerara sugar in a large bowl. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer, scrape mixture down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat on medium speed for a minute longer.
- Add the dry ingredients, all at once, to the butter-sugar mixture. Beat on low speed until the flour begins to disappear and the dough forms. Stop the mixer, add the chocolate chips and combine all the ingredients with a spatula and knead with your hands to bring it together.
- Once all the flour is thoroughly mixed in, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 240 C. Dollop tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto the baking tray and press down into a cookie shape.
- Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. (You need to check on your cookies while they’re in the oven. My first batch got slightly burnt when kept for 10 minutes, and for the second batch they came out brown, chewy and just right at 8 minutes.)
- Cool and serve!
These cookies are chewy and the bits of demerara sugar give it a lovely crunch. The cinnamon and ginger give it a nice warm Christmasy flavour; and of course, the chocolate chips make everything better:)