I don’t know why a chai latte taste better on a cold rainy day or why we tend to think of spices more during Holiday time, but chai spice is something I tend to equate with colder weather. A lazy Sunday morning snug inside your favorite cozy robe with your cold hands wrapped around a hot mug of tea definitely beckons for one of these cookies. You’ll suddenly forget you have piles of laundry to fold or the dog needs to be fed. All of a sudden, it’s only about you and this moment of sweet bliss while you sip on your tea and nibble on a couple of these sweet, but not too sweet spicy cookies. The thing is, this cookie dough almost taste better after it has sat in the fridge for a few days while the spices mingle together. You can even let the dough rest in the fridge for a week as long as it’s well wrapped in plastic wrap to avoid taking on any other odors; making sure not to park it next to an onion for instance. I tested a couple batches with 1/8 inch and also 1/4 inch thickness and found that I like the thinner version better. You can certainly make them thicker if you like; just bake them a minute or two longer. Do not skip on the glaze-it totally makes this cookie!
Chai Spice Blend
3 Tbsp. cinnamon (I like Saigon cinnamon)
1 1/2 Tbsp. ground ginger
2 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. finely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. white pepper
Mix together all the ingredients and store in a glass jar (you’ll have some leftover)
2 Cup confectioners sugar
1/ 2 tsp. chai spice
3 Tbsp. water
Chai Spice Cookies
(yield: 2-3 dozen depending on size)
1 Cup unsalted butter
6 Tbsp. confectioners sugar
1/3 Cup honey
3/4 tsp. vanilla bean paste
2 /12 Cups flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. chai spice blend (from recipe above)
1. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the honey in a slow stream and mix until combined. Add the vanilla bean paste and mix. Combine the flour, salt and 3/4 tsp of prepared chai spice in a separate bowl with a fork. Reduce the mixer to low and add the flour in two additions and mix until combined.
2. Divide the dough into two portions, flatten into discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for a least 8 hours or even up to one week. Unwrap one disc at a time and roll out onto a floured board into 1/8 inch thickness and cut into circles with a small cutter. Place onto a Silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet and chill for 30 minutes. Bake in a 350 preheated oven for 12-13 minutes or until light golden brown. Allot to chill completely.
3. Dip the tops of cooled cookies into glaze, then turn cookie vertical and allow excess glaze to drip down off cookies; run finger around edge to clean off edges then rest on a wire rack to allow glaze to set until no longer wet.