Garam masala & chocolate chunk cookies

  • Makes 18-20
  • 30 minutes plus 12–48 hours chilling time
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These simple, lightly spiced chocolate chip cookies from Eleanor Ford are made with a mixture of dark chocolate chunks and sweet and spicy crystallised ginger. This creates a biscuit that has a little bit of bitterness and spice as well as sweetness.

This recipe is taken from A Whisper of Cardamom by Eleanor Ford (Murdoch Books, £26) Photography: Ola O. Smit

First published in 2024

Eleanor says: 'When musing on spices and flavour I had an idea for a garam masala cookie, then pushed it away as madness. After all, the spice blend is designed for finishing curries, lending bittersweet complexity from the nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, cumin, cloves and coriander. Yet my mind was caught and, happily, I’m here to tell you it works. The blend offsets the dark chocolate whilst the nuggets of fiery crystallised ginger play off the warming heat that gives garam masala its name.'

'The best, squidgiest cookies enforce patience, as you need to rest the dough overnight to allow the flour to fully hydrate and the flavours develop. I then suggest cooking in batches as needed, as they are arguably at their finest warm from the oven whilst the kitchen still smells of baking butter and spices and the chocolate chunks sit in molten puddles.'

Spice switch: Trade in the garam masala for other sweet and complex spice mixes such as hawaij, baharat, ras el hanout or advieh.






Line two baking sheets with baking parchment


Whisk together the plain flour, garam masala, ground ginger, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and fine salt in a bowl. Stir through the chocolate and ginger chunks


In a stand mixer with a paddle or bowl with a wooden spoon, cream together the butter and both sugars until well mixed but not aerated and fluffy


Beat in the egg well, then add the dry ingredients and mix through


Using an ice cream scoop (I use one 4.5cm/1¾ inches in diameter), scoop out balls of the dough and space well apart on the baking sheets to allow room for spreading. Chill in the fridge overnight or for up to 2 days


The next day, heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan (350°F)


Sprinkle a little flaky salt over the top of each cookie ball. Still cold from the fridge, bake for 12 minutes


Cool on the sheets then store in an airtight tin

First published in 2024

Eleanor Ford is an award-winning author writing about food and travel.

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