Memory-Scented Sugar Cookies
1/2 cup Earth Balance ‘butter’–softened
2 tablespoons of cream cheese (I used vegan)
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar–packed
1/3 cup vanilla almond milk
1 chai tea bag
1 pinch saffron
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup dried cranberries–roughly chopped
1/3 cup dry roasted and salted pistachios–roughly chopped
1/3 cup dried, unsweetened shredded coconut
zest of one orange (approx. 1 tablespoon)
*Mix almond milk, saffron, and extracts in a saucepan. Add tea bag. Heat on high until hot. Turn heat off. Add to small bowl and put in freezer (leave the tea bag in the liquid).
*Combine all dry ingredients. Set aside.
*Chop cranberries, pistachios, and orange zest. Mix. Combine with dried coconut. Set aside.
*Beat (use electric mixer or stand up mixer) softened “butter,” sugars, and cream cheese until fluffy. Add almond milk (take out the tea bag of course).
*Add 1/2 of dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Add other 1/2 of dry ingredients, as well as all of the mix-ins.
*Refrigerate for at least a half hour. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drop dough onto cookie sheet (either line with foil or spray lightly with cooking spray). [Note: the cookies do not spread very much, so you can pack them on the cookie sheet, but they shouldn’t touch.]
*Bake 8-11 minutes or until golden brown.
Hands down, one of the best parts of making this cookie was the first step–making the saffron chai. The house smelled so good, and coupled with zesting the orange, I felt that I could have eaten the aromas and been satisfied.
*This is a hearty cookie. There are a lot of mix-ins and I used whole wheat and all purpose flour. This made a texture that was somewhere between a cookie and a scone. I really like the texture, but if you want to lighten it up, you may want to use all White all-purpose flour.
*This is not a super sweet cookie–again, which I like. The recipe can be tweaked to make it sweeter, however. The recipe could probably hold up to a cup of sugar. Also, using sweetened coconut would increase the sweetness. Lastly, I melted some apricot preserves and drizzled it on some of the cookies. This was nice. It increased the sweetness–subtly–without overwhelming the already complex cookie.
*For those who bake regularly, you’ll notice that there’s no salt in the recipe. This is because I used dry-roasted and salted pistachios. The salt from the pistachios was enough to cut the sweetness and to enhance the overall flavors of the cookie.
* I only baked a few cookies, as I did not want to eat all of them in one sitting. This dough can be refrigerated, so that cookies can be baked throughout the week.
*I could not stop eating this cookie dough! I immediately imagined coconut ice cream with frozen pieces of Memory-Scented Sugar Cookie Dough. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.