Spicy. Exotic. Cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Spices that warm my soul. As I enjoy dipping a biscotti into my espresso or wine, I realized I would love to have a little something to dip in my tea. Chai is one of my favorites.
My daughter works part time in a café surrounded by the aromas of freshly prepared coffee and tea drinks. It’s a large but cozy café where you could snuggle up and spend a few hours sipping a warm drink and reading a book. I gravitate to those places, those feel-good places that allow me to stop my busy life and relax and totally enjoy the moment. If I can’t be at a cozy coffee shop or ocean side café, I can still create the mood right at home as soon as I settle in with one of these chai biscotti. Since Gina has been working at the cafe’ she has taken a liking to chai drinks.
Crisp and lowfat these are ideal for a light snack and perfect for tea. Lightly sweetened a simple, almost biscuit-type cookie but with an intense, uinique flavor. I found a recipe in a Cooking Light magazine many years back and tweaked the recipe with extra spices and switched the white flour to a white/wheat blend and substituted agave for the sugar. The original recipe used 1 cup sugar. Whole wheat pastry flour is another option.
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine , November 2000
2 ¾ cup wheat/white blend flour
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar * (or plain sugar)
3 Chai tea bags or 1 tablespoon loose tea
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ cup agave
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier liquor (or triple sec or orange juice)
3 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour and next 10 ingredients (flour through nutmeg) in a large bowl. Combine the oil, liqueur, agave and eggs, whisking well to combine. Pour egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine well. Mixture will be dry and crumbly. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly about 7 to 8 times.
Divide the dough in half. Shape each portion into an 8 inch long roll. Place rolls on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray or use a slipat. Flatten the tops of each roll slightly.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Cut each roll diagonally into thin slices. Place the slices on the baking sheet and bake 20 minutes. Biscotti will continue to crisp and harden as they cool. Cool completely and store tightly covered in a tin. Makes about 2 ½ dozen.
* I keep a separate container of sugar with a few vanilla pods tucked in the middle. The vanilla pods gently infuse the sugar with a light vanilla flavor and aroma.
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.