Let me introduce you to a concept I like to call 'Baking Friends' (TM). For those unfamiliar with 'baking friends' it's a pretty simple concept. You bake things. And you give them to people. And you try to make them be your friend. Let me clarify, it's not a bribe. You don't mention the motive behind the baked goods. It's more like pavlov's dog. You meet someone new. You're chatting, and then suddenly, out of your bag, comes cookies.
"Who is this girl?! She's so cool! She just like carries homemade cookies around in her bag. Like the best primary school teacher in the world. Or how everyone imagines Zooey Deschanel will be in real life."
They eat the cookie. It's really good, because you're really good at baking. Now they're thinking...
"Wow! This girl is so talented. If only I had a talent that wasn't watching Netflix and peeling oranges so the skin comes off in one piece. Maybe if I hang out with this girl a bit more I'll become more talented like her..."
As they reach for another one of your amazing cookies they're brain starts to feel happy. Because that's what cookies do. And they look up, see your face, and BOOM. Friendship made. Mission complete. Baking friends accomplished.
Okay fine, so maybe it doesn't always work like that. But I do find baking is a good ice breaker. And it makes people remember you, even if it's only as the creepy cookie lady. And if it doesn't work, you have an amazing supply of emergency 'everyone hates me brownies' in your bag. So it's kind of a win win situation.
Brownies are normally my go to baking friends recipe. Because I'm really good at making them and they're really easy and pretty much everyone likes brownies. But recently these cookies have become my new favourite recipe for a number of different reasons.
1. They don't require a mixer. Which I love. In London I have a pink kitchen aid which is my favourite thing in the world to look at and my least favourite thing in the world to listen to. 9 times out of 10 I bake to calm myself down (the other 1 time I'm baking to get pumped up before a party which as you can imagine doesn't normally work) and the sound of a mixer always makes me stressed.
2. They're very portable. The worst thing that can happen if you're trying to bake friends is if you take your goods out of your bag only to find a smushed, sticky cupcake that no one's gonna want to touch. You want something that you can slip into your bag and effortlessly reveal as if you'd basically forgotten you were a cookie bearing goddess.
3. They're not too experimental. Another big baking friends mistake is making something that your potential friend might hate or be allergic too. There's nothing worse than putting yourself out there, telling someone you've baked them something, and then watching the look on someone's face when you've revealed you've made avocado and peppermint walnut chip streusel.
4. But they're still interesting. The chai definitely adds an element of "Oooh, who is this girl? Chai! How exciting!.' It makes you seem a little adventurous without being annoying. And it also tastes good. So good.
So what's been the message of this blog post? Probably that I'm crazy. And need to try and use my words when making friends and not my kick ass cooking skills. But if you take one thing away from this please let it be that these cookies are really good. And you should make them regardless of whether they are a sad attempt at forcing unsuspecting teenagers to like you.
Have a great day,
Cinnamon Chai Brown Sugar Cookies Recipe.
- 3/4 cup (170g) butter.
- 1 and a quarter cups (250g) dark brown soft sugar.
- 1 egg.
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
- 2 cups (250g) flour.
- 1 teaspoon baking soda.
- 1 and a half teaspoon cornstarch (corn flour).
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
- a pinch of salt.
- 1 chai tea bag.
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon cinnamon for rolling.
1. Melt the butter. Once it's cooled, pour into a medium sized bowl and stir in the sugar, followed by the egg and the vanilla.
2. Once everything is mixed add the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt. Cut open the tea bag and pour the tea leaves into the mixture. Stir everything together until it forms a soft dough.
3. Leave the dough to chill in the fridge for at lest two hours. Mix the granulated sugar and the cinnamon together in a small bowl.
4. Preheat the oven to 325 F (160 C) and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Remove the dough from the fridge. Take a chunk of dough (let's face it we all like different size cookies) and roll into a ball. Roll the ball in the cinnamon sugar and place on the baking tray.
5. If you want the crinkly top bake them for 8-9 minutes then take them out and push down gently on the top with a fork or spoon. This will 'break' the top and mean you get that cool crinkly effect. Once you've done this put them back in for 2 minutes. If you want cookies with flat tops just leave them in for 10-12 minutes.
6. Remove them from the oven and let them cool on the baking tray before moving them to a cooling rack.