Chai Tea Shortbread Cookies

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So I’ve decided that cooking with tea is a thing.  Last Christmas, I got a cookbook about cooking with tea, and I’ve tried a few of the recipes.  But the cookie recipe in the book was for an Earl Grey cookie.  I’m not the most fond of Earl Grey, and after the yumminess of the Vanilla Rooibos cookies earlier, I thought about my favorite hot drink — Chai.

These cookies manage to have the creaminess of chai (probably the butter!) and the sweet-but-spicy blend that makes this my favorite drink.  Even better, you can make them up ahead of time and then slice and bake fresh!

Chai Tea Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon chai tea mix, from several chai tea bags (see Tea Note below)
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, optional
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsalted butter

In a food processor or small chopper, pulse the flour, sugar, powdered sugar, tea mix, and salt until the tea is pulverized and distributed throughout the dry ingredients. If desired, add the cardamom and cinnamon as well, which will give a more pronounced chai spice flavor to the cookies.

Add the vanilla and butter. Pulse together just until a rough dough is formed. Scrape the dough out of the chopper and form into a log 8 to 9-inches long on a piece of wax or parchment paper. Wrap the paper around and roll the log smooth. Freeze the dough, or chill for at least 30 minutes.

To bake, preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat. Use a sharp knife to slice the chilled or frozen log of dough into 1/3-inch-thick pieces. Place on the baking sheet and bake until the edges are just beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container.

  • Tea Note: The word ‘chai’ or ‘masala chai’ is a catch-all for a spiced black tea drunk in great quantities throughout Southwest Asia and parts of Africa. Any bagged spiced black tea would be lovely in this recipe, as would an equal amount of homemade masala chai mix.

 

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