These might be the best cookies I have ever made that are not chocolate chip. I adapted them from a recipe on Sugar & Soul, a lifestyle blog.
Chai is the Eurasian work for tea. What we Americans usually call chai is actually masala chair, or spiced tea. It originates from India, and thus many of the spices are aromatic Indian herbs.
Masala chai is black tea mixed with spices, usually cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and black peppercorn. Additional spices include fennel seeds, star anise, and coriander. In my research, I even found some recipes that suggest adding nutmeg and allspice.
For this recipe, you’ll want to look for a mix that is a little on the sweeter side. I like O Organics brand in particular because it combines cinnamon, clove and cardamom, but does not have black pepper. For me the cardamom gives enough spiciness that you do not need the addition of pepper for cookies.
Now that you have the spiced element out of the way, I experimented with taking these cookies to a more desert-oriented place. Since I’m a fan of vanilla and lavender as a combination, both of which go well with the spices in the chai, I decided to incorporate these flavors as well. I used lavender sugar in both the cookies and the icing. I also used vanilla bean in the cookies instead of extract to work with the speckled look of the tea, while adding flavor.
I was also making these cookies for some work colleagues, so I used prettier shaped cookie cutters. Experiment with your own shapes and post them in the comments! Just remember to adjust the baking time according to size.
PREP TIME: 15-20 minutes
COOK TIME: 16-18 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30-40 minutes
MAKES: 24 cookies
2 sticks of unsalted butter
½ cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbs. lavender sugar
2 bags of Chai, loose – look for chai mixes without or with small quantities of black pepper
½ vanilla bean
¼ tsp. tsp of fine sea salt
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tbs. lavender sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbs. water
- Preheat your oven to 350°.
- Cream butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. If you have a stand mixer, use your paddle attachment.
- In a separate bowl, mix flour, lavender sugar, salt, and loose tea until well distributed.
- Add flour mixture into the creamed butter. It will be crumbly at first, but keep mixing until it forms solid dough. Use your hands to really clump it together, if necessary.
- Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. For above baking time, it should be ¼ inch think, but you can make them thicker if you desire. Just increase your baking time. Cut out the cookies using your cookie cutter. I used a 2 in. cutter.
- Place on baking sheet for 16-18 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. I highly recommend using parchment lined backing sheets for easy clean up.
- Use a cooling rack to cool cookies completely. They must be cooled before icing. While they’re cooling, whisk together the icing ingredients. If it’s not runny as you would like, as more water in ¼ tsp. increments.
- Dip half of each cooled cookie into the icing, Remove excess icing with the edge of a knife. Place the dipped cookies on wax paper for icing to set. Sprinkle with more lavender sugar for decoration or taste, if desired.