Thursday, November 7, 2013

Chai Spiced Cookies

You want to make an easy to bake and festive cookie...
Make chai spiced cookies!

Cookies can get complicated.  Sometimes they involve multiple steps involving ingredients of varying temperatures, resting/cooling periods, dough rolling out, decorating, and so on.  That is all well and good, but sometimes you just want to make a cookie that feels fun and different, but that does not require the skills of a master pastry chef.

These cookies are awesome! They are super easy to make, and they are the perfect texture - soft on the inside, crispy on the outside.  They have the subtle flavors of chai tea, but the classic appeal of a traditional sugar cookie. You will probably want to double the recipe, because these guys will go quickly.

I have only made a few changes to Jamie's solid recipe (mostly I just upped the spice content). You could also probably cut out a 1/4 cup of sugar if you do not like things to be too sweet.  If you do not have all of these spices on hand, I would say that cinnamon and cardamom are the most important flavors in these cookies.  You can skip the others, but don't skip those.


Chai Spiced Cookies
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground clove 
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and softened
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, allspice and black pepper. Remove 1/4 cup of the sugar-spice mixture, set aside to reserve for rolling the cookies.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar-spice mixture until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. This step is crucial. Make sure your butter is room temperature (leave out your butter the night before, or first thing in the morning), and allow the mixture to really get fluffy and light. If I'm feeling impatient, I like to set a timer to ensure that I don't rush the process.
5. Beat in egg and vanilla extract, combine until fully incorporated. Once you add the egg don't overmix the batter, beat it until incorporated.  
6. Slowly blend in dry ingredients mixing until just combined.
7. Using a small ice cream scoop (2 teaspoons) or a spoon, scoop out the batter and roll the dough into balls.  Then roll the balls into the reserved sugar-spice mixture. Place dough balls on a lined baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart (I prefer parchment paper). I pressed the center of the balls down just ever so slightly, because I prefer a flatter cookie.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Always err on the side of under-baking when you're making cookies.
8. Let stand on baking sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.
*I ended up icing these cookies.  They are already plenty sweet, but a drizzle of icing over the top made these cookies look a little fancier, and it also added a nice textural element.  You can make your own icing (1 cup powdered sugar, 1-2 tablespoons milk of water depending on the thickness you desire), or you can pick up something like this:


  1. these sound yummy! i will definitely try them. i need to replace cuccidata (sicilian fig cookie) for my cookie exchange this year... people always think they're going to be chocolate and are mostly disappointed with the fig filling, and they're a major project to make for such little fanfare among my friends and their families. this could be the perfect switch!

  2. I want your fig cookie recipe! I love figs.

    I think these could easily be decorated with holiday colored icings, or with white icing and cute little red or green edible bead-type things. Let me know how they come out if you make them.