Chai, Dark Chocolate and Walnut Cookies
100 g walnuts, roughly chopped
• 300 g plain white flour
• 1 tsp ground ginger
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp ground cardamom
• ½ tsp ground allspice
• ¼ tsp ground cloves
• ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
• ¾ tsp baking soda
• ¾ tsp baking powder
• ¾ tsp sea salt
• 125 ml canola oil
• 150 g caster sugar
• 100 g soft brown sugar
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 200 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped into 1-2cm chunks
• sea salt flakes, for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 160°C fan-forced (or 180°C conventional).
- Place the chopped walnuts in a single layer on a baking paper-lined tray. Roast the walnuts for 10 minutes until fragrant and golden brown. Remove from the oven, transfer to a bowl, and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, cloves, black pepper, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. Make a well in the centre.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, caster sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and 75 ml water until well-combined and emulsified. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and stir together until a cookie dough is formed. Add the cooled roasted walnuts and two-thirds of the chopped dark chocolate, stirring into the cookie dough until evenly distributed. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to firm up a little to make the dough easier to roll.
- Roll the mixture into balls (approx. 60 g each, just bigger than a golf ball), and press a piece of the remaining chocolate into the top of each ball while retaining their shape - this will give you pools of chocolate on your cookies. Place on a baking paper- lined tray, ensuring they are not touching, and place in the freezer for 20 minutes until firm to the touch and chilled.
- Line two large oven trays with baking paper. Once chilled, arrange 6 balls of cookie dough onto each tray, evenly spaced at least 5 cm apart, as they will spread during baking.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until turning golden on the edges, set in the middle, and slightly cracked on top. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.
- Leave to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat the baking process with the remaining cookie dough balls, or you can leave these in the freezer in an airtight container for future cookies on demand; you do not need to defrost, just simply bake from frozen.
- If you’re a fan of chai, feel free to double the spice quantities to make the cookies pack an extra flavour punch.