Chai Spice Cookies

chai cookies

I feel a little bit guilty now, when I make cookies without my 3-year-old daughter’s enthusiastic “help.” It’s her favorite thing to do. She looks at me sometimes, out of the blue, and very seriously declares, “Mama, we should make some cookings.” I almost always completely agree that it sounds like the right thing to do. She is a wise soul.

So, this recipe is a little guilt-ridden. I prepared these cookies while Juanita was at preschool. I felt like a criminal, sure she would walk in the door at any second, and discover my betrayal. But I have a different promise to keep. I’m posting one cookie per day on Instagram this month and I’m struggling to keep up with it. This means I need to make a lot of cookies, even when Juanita is at away, or sleeping, or distracted. Despite the guilt (or perhaps because of it), these are some damn good cookies, wrapped in an exotic mix of spices reminiscent of Chai tea.

I, perhaps unwisely, offered one to Juanita when she got home from school, wary of an impending tantrum at the proof of my betrayal. She said nothing at first, excited to be presented with a sweet treat, and eagerly gobbled it down. When she was finished, she looked up at me with those huge, puppy-dog eyes and said, “Mama, we should make some cookings.” I agreed that it was the right thing to do. She is a wise soul.

Chai Spiced Sugar Cookies

  • 2 3/4 cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp (320 g) white sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (230 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
makes about 30 cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl combine sugar, spices, and black pepper. Remove 1/4 cup of the sugar-spice mixture, set aside to reserve for rolling the cookies. 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. Beat in egg and vanilla extract, combine until fully incorporated. Slowly blend in dry ingredients mixing until just combined. Roll dough into balls and then into the reserved sugar-spice mixture, coating evenly. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Let rest on baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to cool on a plate or wire rack.

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