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These rich, buttery chai-spiced shortbread cookies are light, flavourful and perfect for with a nice warm mug of milky tea! They’re simple, easy and customisable to suit your tastes!
I first made these chai cookies ages ago, but never shared them because it was Summer at the time. So, now it’s the summer afterwards and I’ve decided to share them anyway – hot weather or not these are a tasty treat!
As they’re shortbread, they’re lovely and crumbly – perfect for dunking in tea! This works great with the spices as the cookies come out buttery, flavourful and light. They’re really delicious! I highly recommend serving them with a good cup of milky tea for dunking them in for the optimal experience!
What do I need to make chai shortbread cookies?
You don’t need anything super unusual to make these shortbread cookies, but you may not have all of the spices. What you could do is use a chai spice blend instead of individual spices to keep things simple and minimise the number of ingredients.
For the cookies, I used:
- Butter – unsalted and at room temperature. This provides fat to make the cookies rich and flaky, as well as add the moisture as there’s no egg.
- Granulated sugar for sweetness and a crumbly texture.
- Flour to provide structure.
- Salt to season the cookies (regular sea salt, not table salt as different salts have different levels of “saltiness” and table salt can taste too metallic). This helps to balance the flavours and sweetness.
And then there were the spices, which included:
- Cinnamon – just regular, ground cinnamon is perfect!
- Cardamom powder – I struggled to find this and ended up grinding up whole cardamom pods in a mortar and pestle.
- Regular ground ginger. No need for any fancy crystallised ginger or anything too fancy!
- Allspice – this adds a lovely warmth! It’s a lovely spice, but can be pretty strong!
- Cloves – for the gorgeous slightly more savoury-sweet flavour. This really helps the cookies to smell incredible as they bake!
- Nutmeg for warmth and a more gentle flavour.
However, instead of all of these different spices, you might find it cheaper to buy a chai spice blend like this one – personally, I didn’t do this purely because I already had all of the spices except the cardamom.
If you do decide to do this, then just use approximately 2.5-3 teaspoons of it to flavour the cookies. The amount you need will vary slightly depending on the individual blend, but it’s pretty easy to judge how strong it is by the colour and smell of the cookie dough as it comes together.
What equipment do I need to make the shortbread?
You don’t need anything too fancy, but you do need a few bits and bobs that you might not already have!
- You may need a mortar and pestle or simple spice grinder if you can only buy whole spices or prefer to use freshly ground spices. This isn’t essential, so don’t worry if you don’t have one!
- Measuring spoons to measure the spices
- Weighing scales to properly measure the ingredients. You can use cups, but they’re less accurate so personally I don’t recommend it for baking as it can throw off the ratios of ingredients, which will change the final result – sometimes dramatically!
- A stand mixer to properly mix together the ingredients.
- A small baking tray and sheet pans for baking.
None of that is too unusual, but it’s worth making sure you have it all there before you get started. After all, there’s nothing worse than starting a recipe and then realising that you’re missing an ingredient or piece of equipment!
How do I make these chai cookies?
The method for these cookies is pretty basic since they’re really just a flavoured shortbread, but it’s worth reading through the recipe first to make sure you’re prepared for all the steps!
After all, the cookies do take a while to cook and there is a fiddly part in there that sounds a little odd, but I promise it’s right!
- Preheat the oven and line the baking tray with parchment paper.
- Cream together the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy.
- On low speed, mix in the flour and spice mix a little at a time.
- Press the mixture into the tin and cut into 16 slices.
- Bake for 45 minutes then let cool for 5 minutes.
- Re-cut the cookies and cool for a further 10 minutes.
- Place the cookies spaced apart on a new tray and bake for a further 25 minutes until lightly golden and crisp.
See? There’s a bit of fiddling in there, so it’s worth making sure you’re aware of that step before you start. I know when I first made it, it felt a little mad to go through all that faff. However, it does the job so I decided to stick with it – the results are worth the little bit of extra time!
What other recipes should I make?
If you’re a fan of shortbread-style cookies or spiced cookies then you might like:
- simple Scottish shortbread cookies
- chocolate orange shortbread cookies
- luxurious Millionaire’s shortbread
- lavender shortbread
- apricot almond shortbread slices
- nutella shortbread hearts
- whipped shortbread
Or, if you’re looking for more simple cookie recipes then you might like:
- Single-serving eggless chocolate chip cookie
- Easy eggless chocolate chip cookies (these are super gooey and fudgy!)
- Chewy triple chunk cookies
- 4-ingredient gluten-free nutella cookies
- 250 grams (2 sticks + 1 tbsp) unsalted butter
- 125 grams (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) granulated sugar
- 375 grams (2 1/3 cup) plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 0.5 tsp ground cardamom
- 0.5 tsp ground ginger
- 0.25 tsp allspice
- 0.25 tsp ground cloves
- 0.25 tsp nutmeg
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F) and line a 7.5x6 inch tray with parchment paper.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt and spices.
3. On low speed, gradually mix in the flour mixture until just combined.
4. Press the mixture into a tin and cut into 16 slices. Bake for 45 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes then re-cut. Cool for another 10 minutes.
6. Place the cookies on regular baking trays spaced slightly apart and bake for 25 minutes or until firm, crispy and pale golden.
Cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
To replace the spices with a store-bought chai spice blend, use approximately 3 teaspoons of the spice blend or according to taste.
Nutrition InformationYield 16 Serving Size 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving Calories 229Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 34mgSodium 75mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 1gSugar 8gProtein 3g
All nutrition values are an estimate and will vary.