Chai Spice Snickerdoodles

Ingredients

Wet ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 Cups sugar
2 eggs

Dry ingredients:
2 3/4 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon Chai Spice blend*

Sugar Coating
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons Chai Spice Blend*

Directions

This recipe works best if you let the butter and eggs come to room temperature before you start. If you don't have time, no worries -- it'll just be a bit harder to mix the wet ingredients. (And messier, as the butter tends to clump up and fly out of the bowl.)

Using a hand or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar (mix until smooth). Add one egg at a time, mixing each just until combined.

Grab another bowl for the dry ingredients. Sift the flour into the bowl and add the salt, cream or tartar, baking soda, and Chai Spice blend. Stir to combine.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in 3-4 batches, mixing in between. This should come to a thick dough. Dump the dough out onto a sheet of wax paper and form it into a big ball. Squish it into a fat pancake, wrap it in the wax paper, and stick it in the fridge. Ideally, it should cool for 2 hours, but I've been able to shape it after 1-1/2.

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the sugar and Chai spice blend in a small bowl. Break off pieces of the dough and roll into balls. I think the ideal size is roughly the size of cherry, or a littler smaller than a big marble. At this size, you'll get 5 batches of 18 cookies. You can, of course, make them bigger if you prefer a larger, flatter snickerdoodle.

Roll each ball in the sugar/spice mixture to coat and set on the cookie sheet. Allow about 2 inches between cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies just start to turn golden. There is a fine line between just right and overdone, and it is better to take the cookies out a little sooner than later. Make sure you let the cookie sheet cool between batches or the cookies will start to melt as you place them and the edges will be weird. I use three cookie sheets and rotate them -- one in the over, one cooling, and one receiving the next batch.

*Chai Spice Blend

When I first made these, I used a McCormick Chai Spice blend I found in the grocery store. If you can find it, it works great. Alternatively, you can make your own. Just combine these:

1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

If you use ground nutmeg, you may need to use a little more. I highly recommend getting whole nutmeg and a microplane grater though -- the flavor and aroma can't be matched. Also, I'm guessing on the ground cardamom, since I've been using whole cardamom. I don't recommend that though, the process of separating the grains from the seed pod and grinding them is a bit of a hassle (though it smells imcredible -- It's not hard to imagine you're walking through a Persian bazaar.)

Adapted from this Snickerdoodle recipe. Credit for the chai spice idea goes to Debbie (at the time, Duncan) Rankin.