I love a good sugar cookie. When Christina suggested adding Chai to cookies, I wasn’t sure how it would work out. I occasionally drink Masala Chai (the spiced tea most people refer to simply as Chai) and couldn’t wrap my head around how the spice blend would work in a cookie. It worked very well, creating a cookie that has a gentle hint of spice that lingers after the last bite.
While there are many variations on Chai spice, I chose to use cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, ground black pepper and fennel seed. I did not use any dairy or actual tea in these cookies, just the blend of spices. The next time I make these, I may try using cloves instead of fennel. There are many possibilities! I think any combination of spices totaling 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons would be fun to try!
Chai Spice Sugar Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 cup Earth Balance vegan butter-y sticks (2 sticks)
1 t. vanilla bean paste
3 cups of my favorite gluten-free flour blend
1 1/2 t. guar gum
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. cardamom
1/8 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. ground ginger
1/8 t. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 t. fennel seed, ground in spice grinder
Cream sugar and butter until just incorporated in bowl of stand mixer. This is an important step–do not overmix. Overmixing butter and sugar can cause cut-out cookies to spread. Add egg and vanilla bean paste. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl. Add dry ingredients one cup at a time to mixture in stand mixture.
Split the dough into two equal parts. Place one half on top of a cookie sheet sized piece of plastic wrap. Flatten into a disc. Place another piece of plastic wrap on top, roll the edges up and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Repeat with other half of dough. Instead of turning the dough out onto a floured surface, you can now roll it out between the pieces of plastic wrap.
Cut the cookies out and place on silpat lined baking sheet. Return to the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Frost with royal icing or serve unfrosted, both are good!
3 egg whites
1 t. almond extract
1 t. cream of tartar
4 cups (approximately 1 pound) powdered sugar
Blend all ingredients in stand mixer on low for approximately 7 minutes, until smooth. It’s important to not overblend, incorporating too much air or you’ll have bubbles in your frosting.
My friend Tina came over and helped decorate these cookies. We had so much fun! I am not an expert at frosting sugar cookies (see photos). For really great instructions on a frosting technique I hope to learn more about, please visit these websites:
What The Fruitcake?
University of Cookie
Bake at 350