Ginger Date Oatmeal cookies and Chai Tea with Honey

Cookie and Chai Tea with HoneyCold winter afternoons are perfect for hot tea and a cookie. Oatmeal cookies have been a long-standing favorite of mine for quite a while. It always was a blissful day when the box of oatmeal cookies came in the mail from my mother when I was away at college. We had an old gas stove from the 1950s that had to be lit with a match and did heat very evenly so inevitably some cookies were overcooked while others were near perfect. The overcooked cookies were a bit caramelized and hard but held up much better when dunking.

I think I found my new favorite cookie.  Amy found a recipe online for ginger date oatmeal cookies here and immediately was interested. She modified the recipe a bit substituting the light corn syrup for light spring honey.   We have also been experimenting with substituting some or all of the sugar in recipes with monk fruit sugar. Cookies get very hot so only half of the sugar can be substituted as monk fruit will breakdown and lose its sweetness. The natural sugar seems to protect the monk fruit sugar from the heat.

I like a strong chai tea and it’s very easy to make. I find using a french press is perfect for loose tea. The one I use has a removable glass beaker and I can put just the beaker directly in the microwave. Fill the beaker with 3cups water a heaping tablespoon of loose tea, add a dash of cardamom and a small piece of star anise. Anise is strong and can be overpowering so a little goes a long way so better to error on less. A bit of almond milk and honey is the perfect combination.

The extract of the monk fruit is also known as Luo Han Guo (Siraitia grosvenorii), chemically is a sugar-alcohol which is approximately 300 times sweeter than sugar.  Monk fruit has been used as a natural sweetener in Chinese traditional medicine for about 1000 years. The sweetness of the fruit is due to five different mogrosides, the main of which is esgoside (mogroside V).

Chemical structure of mogroside-V

mogroside-V

Honey has a high percentage of fructose which is a 6-carbon sugar compared to common sugar or sucrose a 12-carbon sugar. The simpler sugar will caramelize at a lower temperature so the cookie will be a bit darker than with normal sugar however it does not seem to affect the taste.

chemical structure of fructose

fructose

glucose

glucose

For detailed instructions follow the original recipe

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup monk fruit sugar
4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup finely chopped dates
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 tablespoon light honey
1 teaspoon molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup boiling water

Enjoy!

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