This year’s first place winner of The Cookie Games at the International Culinary Center’s New York City campus came from Professional Culinary Arts students. The duo of Madeline Dudek and Clara Lim chose the country of India as their main inspiration for their original cookie recipe. Creating Browned Butter Masala Chai Cookies, the duo received the highest score among the 10 competitors judged by the likes of Dorie Greenspan (Cookbook Author), Angie Mar (ICC Alumni and Chef/Owner of Beatrice Inn), renowned pastry chef Florian Bellanger, Robb Riedel of Food Network Magazine, and ICC’s President, Erik Murnighan.
The following recipe yields 48 cookies. Try them out for yourself today!
- 2 cups butter, unsalted, divided
- 1-2 star anise
- ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. chai spices
- -2 parts EACH ground cardamom and ground ginger
- -1 part EACH ground fennel seed, ground coriander and ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
- 4 ½ cups flour, all-purpose
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tsp. molasses
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- ¾ cup pecans, ground and toasted
- 1 red beet, peeled and cubed
- Coconut chips, unsweetened
- 2 cups white chocolate, chopped
- Ground cardamom, as needed
- Ground cinnamon, as needed
Prepare the browned butter by melting 1 cup of butter in a saucepan placed over medium heat with 1-2 star anise to infuse. Stir until nutty and light brown. Remove immediately from the heat and add the chai spices and Chinese five spice. Set aside to cool. While still liquid, strain the butter through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the spices.
In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the cooled browned butter, butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. Add one egg or egg yolk at a time, scraping the sides occasionally. Add vanilla and molasses and mix. Add all dry ingredients and pecans and mix until just incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out and cut into diamond shapes. Place onto baking trays, lined with parchment paper. Return the portions to the refrigerator until chilled.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow cooling before decorating.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a blender, process beet pieces with a small amount of water. Transfer the puree to a cheesecloth lined bowl, and squeeze the juice out. Discard the beet products.
Mix coconut chips with some of the beet juice to dye them red and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes. Allow cooling before decorating.
Melt 3/4 white chocolate in a metal or glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, stirring constantly. When completely melted, remove the bowl from the heat and add remaining white chocolate, stirring to cool the chocolate. When completely melted, add cardamom and cinnamon, as desired. Drizzle the tempered white chocolate over the cooled cookies.
Before the chocolate sets, finish with a piece of cooled, coconut chip in the center of each cookie.