Are you a Chai fan? You know that famously spiced tea drink that sends your taste buds into sensory heaven. Today I am baking Chai Shortbread Cookies that have the delicious chai flavor of black tea, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger baked right into the cookie. And to top it off, these shortbreads have a sweet chai icing on top too!
I love tea and am so happy to be in partnership with Snapdragon & Thistle for this blog post.
First published Nov. 23, 2019, last updated Feb. 13, 2020.
I feel I must thank the Scottish from the bottom of my heart for creating this perfect cookie.
Shortbread cookies are one of my favorites and I make them all year long. But one thing I enjoy most is making these easy spiced cookies during the holidays for cookies exchanges, gifts, and for my family
Traditional shortbread cookies are made with three ingredients flour, sugar, and butter. For today’s recipe, I am using rice flour and powdered sugar and I know this is unusual but I add an egg to help bind the rice flour.
With a mildly sweet and buttery flavor, these Chai Shortbread Cookies have that classic melt in your mouth crisp and crumbly texture with the added flavor of chai.
Can you add other flavors to shortbread cookies?
You can add so many different ingredients and flavors, here are some favorites ~
- Vanilla bean
- Maple syrup
- Lemon zest
- Orange zest
- Finely chopped cranberries
- Finely chopped pecans
- Tea – Early Gray, Jasmine, Chai
- Browned Butter
- Add an icing glaze
- Use your imagination for all kinds of flavors
Try these two flavors of shortbreads from One Hot Oven.
Rose Petal Shortbread Cookies flavored with rose water and topped with rose petals. So sweet and pretty.
Easy Lemon Shortbread Cookies with lemon zest and lemon juice for a lot of citrus flavors.
Chai Shortbreads with Chai Icing just takes a few ingredients
- Rice flour
- Powdered sugar
- Butter – salted
Baking tips for shortbreads
Types of flour to use – All-purpose, cake flour, rice flour, almond flour. These shortbreads use rice flour which is also gluten-free. In some recipes, cornstarch is sometimes added to the flour mixture.
Don’t over mix – Overmixing the dough will make it tough, so handle gently
Salted butter – adds just the right amount of flavor to the dough
Chilling the dough – It is important to chill the shortbread dough for at least 30 minutes before baking to firm up the dough which will keep it from spreading while baking.
Use the creaming method – I prefer using a mixer to cream the butter with the flour and sugar mixture for a nice smooth texture.
Low baking temperature – Bake shortbread cookies at a low temperature so they stay nearly white or light golden brown.
Baking with tea
If you follow One Hot Oven you know I drink a lot of tea. It’s not unusual to see a cup of hot tea in my pictures. After all, tea goes so well with desserts. Today’s recipe features Rey’s Chai from Snapdragon and Thistle. Not only can you drink tea but using loose leaf tea in cooking and baking infuses a deliciously subtle flavor to your recipe.
Two of my favorite recipes using tea are Golden Brown Raise Buttermilk Waffles with Tea Infused Maple Syrup and Orange Oat Tea Biscuits.
Just look at these cookies with the flecks of tea and the sweet icing topped with chai. These easy shortbreads are tender, mildly sweet, and full of the warm chai spices we all love.
What is Chai?
This tea originated in India and is really called Masala Chai, which means spiced tea
Chai means tea – so don’t order a Chai tea since that translate to tea tea
Known for its spices, Chai has regional spices added to it but cardamom and vanilla are the staple spices, after that cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, peppercorns, star anise can be found in the spice blend.
Chai is traditionally brewed with milk but you can also drink real chai with only tea and spices.
To me, there is nothing better than a cookie and a cup of tea. Sweet and fragrant chai is soothing to drink and also adds the perfect spiciness to these homemade shortbread cookies.
Infusing tea into a cookie batter is a delicious way to incorporate the flavors of tea, and shortbread cookies are perfect for this. Not only does chai taste great in cookies, but Earl Gray and Jasmine impart their wonderful flavors as well.
Shortbread cookies are traditionally made in three shapes. Today I am cutting the cookies into logs, but you can also cut the dough into small circles or pat the dough into a large circle which you will cut into wedges, these are called “petticoat tails”. I am here to tell you, that you can throw tradition to the wind and make any shape you like.
How to make Shortbread Cookies with Chai
This will be easy to do ~
These cookies are all about the chai which comes in loose-leaf form or in tea bags. The loose-leaf tea I am using today is high quality with large pieces of black tea, cardamom pods, and cinnamon bark, perfect for brewing but for baking, this type of tea needs to be chopped or ground first.
Using a simple food chopper breaks down the chai into small pieces for this recipe, it is simple and quick to do. You can use a coffee grinder to grind the tea if you prefer or a mortar and pestle. Remove the cardamom pod and leaves after grinding.
If you are using a teabag the tea will be much finer and ready to use for baking.
Your first step is to beat the butter in a large bowl until it’s fluffy, then add the egg. Next with the mixer on low add the flour, powdered sugar, and chai and mix until the flour is incorporated.
Turn the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and form it into an 8″ x 4 ½″ rectangle. Cover with the wrap and chill for one hour.
Using a sharp knife or a bench scraper cut the dough long ways down the center then cut into ½″ logs. Place on a parchment-lined baking pan and bake at 300 degrees F. for 30 minutes.
To make the icing, just mix the powdered sugar, and some brewed Chai together until it is nice and smooth.
Wait there’s more. Dip the cooled cookies into the Chai icing and sprinkle with tea for some extra spicy flavor and cookie cuteness.
Brew yourself a cup of tea and let’s start baking.
Chai Shortbread Cookies
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Making Chai Shortbread Cookies
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees
- Add the egg and beat slowly to incorporate.
- Add the softened butter to a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
- Grind the chai tea. Using a food chopper, coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle, add the chai tea leaves and grind the tea to make finer pieces. After grinding the tea, remove any of the bigger pieces such as the cardamom pod. This should yield about 2 tablespoons.Alternatively, you can use the tea from chai teabags. The flavor will not be as pronounced as the loose leaf tea.
- Mix the rice flour, powdered sugar, and the ground chai tea together.
- With the mixer on low add the flour mixture and beat until the flour is incorporated.
- Turn the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into an 8″ x 4 ½″ rectangle. Cover with the wrap and chill for an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees
- Remove dough from wrap then cut the dough longwise with a knife or a bench scraper then cut crosswise into ½" logs. Place the shortbreads on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.When done remove the cookies from the baking sheet to a cooling rack.
Chai Tea Icing
- Brew a small amount of chai tea by putting 1 teaspoon of tea in a bowl and pour ½ cup of boiling water over the tea to steep. Let sit for 3 minutes then strain the tea.You can also use a Chai teabag and brew the tea.
- In a small bowl add the powdered sugar then add 2 tablespoons of the cooled brewed Chai tea. Stir to make a smooth icing. You may have to adjust and add additional tea if the icing is too thick.
- Once the cookies are totally cooled, dip one end of the shortbread cookies into the icing then place them on a sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle with the remaining ground Chai tea while the icing is still wet.
- Store these cookies in an airtight container for a week.