Chai has become such a massive thing over the past few years. This spice blend predominantly consists of cardamom, cinnamon and ginger, but it can also feature fennel and peppercorns and it’s used in so many ways across India. Although its used all year round in India, if you actually break it down it features so many of the flavours that we associate with Christmas – cinnamon and ginger are used so frequently in biscuits, mince pies, Christmas pudding and mulled wine.
I wanted to make some gingersnap-type biscuits to give out as presents, but the Chai element really ups the flavour as well as orange, vanilla and brandy. These biscuits look as though they are really going to knock you out with spices, but actually the flavour is so subtle that you could eat them all year round.
Orange Chai Spiced Biscuits
190g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
125g unsalted butter, softened
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
170g soft light brown sugar
3 tsp brandy
100g dark chocolate
Handfull chopped pistachios
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan) and put some baking parchment on a large baking sheet.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a bowl.
- Cream together the butter, sugar, orange zest and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Stir in the brandy.
- Add the flour mixture a bit at a time and knead until the mixture forms a dough.
- Scatter your work surface with flour and roll out the dough until 8mm thick. Cut out the dough into whatever shapes you fancy and place on a baking sheet, leaving a 2 inch gap between each one.
- Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the outsides are crisp. Leave to cool completely on the baking sheet.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave on 30 second blasts. Dip half of each biscuit in the chocolate and place back on the baking sheet. Sprinkle over the chopped pistachios and leave to set for 2 hours.