Chai masala biscuits for Easter (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

Chai_masala_spiced_Easter_biscits
Marzipan-topped chai masala biscuits for Easter. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

Rich, short, lightly fruited biscuits with a hint of spice, this is a spring bake that takes me back to my childhood. Easter just wouldn’t be Easter without them. Traditionally the biscuits are dusted with white sugar before baking to give them a crusty top, but I love marzipan and it makes a delicious topping for these biscuits. Using a chai masala mix instead of the usual ground spice blends adds a delicate citrus note to the flavour. I think this Indian spice mix tastes lighter and more fragrant than the more familiar blends used in baking.

Jar_of_ready_mixed_chai_masala
Ready blended chai masala mix. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

You can buy ready mixed chai masala for putting in your bakes (or tea!) (Steenbergs organic chai masala), but if you have selection of traditional spices, it is easy enough to put together your own blend. Making your own means that you can experiment by adding more of your favourite spice to personalise your mix.

Selection_of_whole_spices_that_make_up_a_chai_masala_blend
Whole spices: root ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves and cardamom. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

To make your own chai masala, mix together 4 level teaspoons ground cinnamon, 2 level teaspoons ground cardamom, 1 level teaspoon ground ginger and ½ level teaspoon each ground nutmeg, ground cloves and finely ground black pepper. As with all spices, store in a sealed jar out of direct sunlight, in a cool, dry place. I keep small vitamin supplement jars for keeping spice mixes in as the glass is often brown or dark green, and so perfect for keeping out the light. Make up the blend in small batches  to insure fresh flavour every time you use it. Chai masala can be used in any recipe where a ground mixed spice is called for.

Making_homemade_chai_masala_spice_mix
Blending together ground spices for chai masala. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

Here’s the recipe for my Easter biscuits.

Makes: 14

  • 100g vegan margarine, softened (use butter if you prefer)
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp non dairy milk
  • 200g gluten-free plain flour blend + extra for dusting (such as Dove’s Farm)
  • 1 ½ to 2 tsp chai masala
  • 65g mixed currants and chopped cranberries
  1. Line 2 large baking trays with baking parchment. Put the margarine  and sugar in a bowl and whisk together until smooth and creamy. Whisk in the milk.
  2. Sift the flour and spice on top and add the fruit. Mix all the ingredients together until well combined, then bring the mixture together with your hands to make a softish dough.
  3. Dust the work surface with flour and knead the dough gently until smooth. Roll out thinly to a thickness of approx. ½ cm. Using a 7cm crinkle-edge round cutter, stamp out 14 rounds, re-rolling the dough as necessary. Arrange the rounds on the baking trays, spaced a little apart. Prick with a fork, and chill for 30 minutes.

    Biscuit_dough_rolling_and_shaping
    Preparation of the biscuit dough. Images: Kathryn Hawkins
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C (160°C fan oven, gas mark 6). Bake the biscuits for about 15 minutes until lightly golden round the edges. Cool on the trays for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Baked_chai_spiced_Easter_biscuits
    Freshly baked chai spiced Easter biscuits. Image: Kathryn Hawkins
  5. The biscuits are delicious left plain but if you are a marzipan fan, dust the work surface with icing sugar and roll out 200g marzipan thinly. Using a 6cm diameter crinkle-edged cutter, stamp out 14 rounds, re-rolling the marzipan as necessary. Brush each biscuit with a little smooth apricot jam and secure a marzipan disc on top of each. Score the marzipan with a knife and lightly toast the tops with a cook’s blow-torch if liked. Happy Easter eatings!

Chai_masala_spiced_Easter_biscuits_with_marzipan_top
Marzipan-topped Easter biscuits. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

 

 

5 thoughts on “Chai masala biscuits for Easter (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

  1. Beautiful pictures.. I love the first one with your garden flowers, the muscari and daffodils. I have just added cranberries to my shopping list for next week. Your cookies look yummy!

    Like

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