Sweet Happy Life

Hot Spiced Tea and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hot Spiced Tea and Cookies

I don’t know about you, but by the time the afternoon rolls around I need a break. Those 20 or 30 minutes all to myself are the only thing that stands between “happy mommy” and “cranky monster mommy” around here. I hate to admit it, but it’s true.

Lately I’ve been adding a little something extra to my “me time” – hot spiced tea. It’s kinda like a homemade chai. I warm some milk and water in a saucepan, add a few black tea bags, then spice things up with 1/2 a cinnamon stick, whole cloves, peppercorns and a touch of vanilla. After sweetening the tea with honey, I love cupping a warm mug in my hands and sipping on this fragrant drink.

Sometimes, if I feel like an extra treat, I’ll add a couple chewy chocolate chip cookies to the side. We all have our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and mine happens to be Alton Brown’s original “The Chewy” recipe. I usually make a big batch of the dough and freeze it on a cookie sheet after shaping the dough into individual balls. Once frozen, I drop all the cookie dough balls into a Ziploc bag and have them ready to go when I need a pick-me-up. On busy afternoons you can just pull out a few balls of dough and pop them in the oven. The only modification you need concern yourself with is adding a couple minutes to the baking time!

If you’re a spiced tea fan you’ll probably love this recipe. Give it a go! (And serve it with cookies at least once.)

Hot Spiced Tea
A delicately spiced tea perfect for cold winter days.
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 3 black tea bags
  • ½ a cinnamon stick
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 3 whole peppercorns
  • A couple drops of pure vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons of honey, according to taste
  1. In a saucepan bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat, then add the milk, spices and vanilla. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and add the tea bags. Allow to steep for 5-6 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and sweeten with honey to taste. Serve with the other half of your cinnamon stick if you like. :)
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Alton Brown’s original “The Chewy” recipe doesn’t appear to be online anymore so below is what I have in my recipe binder. I’ve modified the directions slightly to reflect how I make these cookies.
  • 1 stick (8 oz) unsalted butter
  • 2¼ cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 12-oz bag of semisweet chocolate chips
  • PAM
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the melted butter and sugars, then beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract. Slowly add to stand mixer and mix for about 30 seconds.
  4. Mix in the chocolate chips, then chill the dough for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat your oven to 375F. Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper. (You will need to make these cookies in 2 batches if you only have 1 sheet like me.)
  6. Using a tablespoon measure that has been slightly greased with PAM, scoop generous tablespoonfuls of dough onto the cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

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