Chocolate, Chai, and Camelot

My mother, forever a fan of the unusually intriguing, sent me a word last week (Yes, a word, and yes, she does that. She’s kind of awesome.) The word was Camelot: An idyllic place or period, especially one of great happiness. States its corollary that it may not have ever been a real place or time. It is simply a space where our thoughts, speech, and experiences come together in harmony.

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Although not within the context of this word, I am sure many of you have thought about this concept before. I have begun to conclude that this idea hope not only doesn’t have to be real, but it doesn’t have to occur just once either. In fact, the beauty of it is that it happens many times, in many places and periods, so that we may sustain ourselves for that much longer.

Chocolate. Something we have all grown up with but know little about. My first educational experience about it was at a tour of the Scharffenberger factory in Berkeley with my mom and brother, which got me hooked on its bittersweet flavor and fruity aroma (although that could have been the theobromine as well) and is the basis for most of my chocolate creations.

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Chai
. The ultimate comfort drink and instant reminder of lazy afternoons in India that I try to recreate here but have so far failed.  Trader Joe’s does a pretty good job with its chai mix, though, and it helps me to inject that nostalgic flavor into almost anything I want from milk to cookies. Now if only it wasn’t so damn expensive.
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Camelot.
 
The perfect proportion of cheesecake to crust; Frisbee at Memorial Glade; dancing until 4 a.m.; mango-colored skies (and mangos in general); 8-day Red Bull-whiskey-brunch fueled benders; and chocolate-chai cookies at midnight with a glass of red wine.  Miniscule moments and pockets of time like these connect the past to the present to the future. And today, they connect me to you and you to this recipe.
There is more to come.
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Chocolate Chai Cookies
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chai mix from Trader Joe’s (they have a couple options; either is fine)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 stick butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup Scharffenberger 70% chocolate, roughly chopped
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
  • Combine all dry ingredients, except for chocolates, in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Beat butter and sugar on medium speed in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add yolk and vanilla and beat until combined.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, combing the two chocolates and heat at 15-second intervals until melted completely. Make sure to stir vigorously between intervals to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir briefly until half-combined. Add in the melted chocolate and stir until well-combined. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Scoop out tablespoon-sized portions onto prepared baking sheet. If you don’t care too much about uniformity, you can leave the scoops as is, or you can do what I did and roll them into balls. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway at the 7-minute mark. These cookies are very soft when they come out of the oven but they harden as they cool. Wait at least 10 minutes before transferring the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies. Stored in an airtight container, they will keep up to 1 week.
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3 thoughts on “Chocolate, Chai, and Camelot

  1. Pingback: What’s Old is New Again | Shikhalamode

  2. Pingback: Mix and Match: Orange-Almond-Strawberry Scones | Shikhalamode

  3. Pingback: What’s Old is New Again | Shikha la mode

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