Chai Cookies with Chocolate Chunks will warm your heart and soothe your soul. Warming chai spices and melting chocolate make this one of the best exotic cookie recipes ever.
These Chai Spice Cookies are near and dear to my heart.
Once upon a time, they almost had me starting a cookie brand, which was going to be called ValenTEAna & Co. Cute, right? I got a little sidetracked with other delicious ideas like Cooking On The Weekends, but I might come back to it one day.
I fell in love with the idea of making cookies with tea -- or tea flavors -- as an ingredient.
These chai cookies are without a doubt my favorite cookie recipe I've ever created. The warm flavors, the soft texture, the melting chocolate . . . . it's all so dreamy.
Above: From top left . . . ground black peppercorns, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.
- ground cardamom
- ground cinnamon
- ground cloves
- ground ginger
- black pepper - Preferably freshly ground. And don't be thrown by this -- if you've ever made Black Pepper Chocolate Chip Cookies, you know exactly how delicious the combination can be.
- Kosher salt - If you use table salt, use half of the amount listed in the recipe card (below).
- all-purpose flour
- baking soda - If you don’t bake regularly, it’s a good idea to check to be sure your baking soda is still good. Pour a couple of tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice over about ¼ teaspoon of the baking soda. If it starts to fizz, it’s still good.
- unsalted butter
- granulated sugar
- light brown sugar
- pure vanilla extract - I like this one.
- heavy cream
- dark molassas - This adds somewhat of a sweet burnt caramel flavor that is fantastic with the chai spices.
- milk chocolate
Substitutions and Variations
- I use milk chocolate in this recipe. I have tested it with both semisweet and dark chocolate, and find that the milk chocolate doesn't compete as much with the flavors of the spices, but this is your call, and whatever you choose, they'll be incredibly delicious.
- If you want to make the cookies with raisins, I would definitely use this method, adding all of the spices to the butter, along with the cinnamon. (This will make sense when you look at the method.)
- Gluten-free version. I’ve tested this recipe using Cup4Cup Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour, and it works well.
- You can use whole or ground spices. If you choose to grind whole spices, I suggest using an electric spice grinder, rather than a mortar and pestle. We want the spices as fine as possible. (Of course, pre-ground will save time.)
- The baking time is about 9 minutes. When you take them out of the oven, you want them to be only slightly crisp on the edges and almost doughy-looking in the very center, as they will firm up a bit as they cool. (They will still be good if they're baked a bit past this point, but I prefer the texture this way.)
- You can reuse the parchment paper after each batch is baked. No need to keep using new sheets. (Do this with any cookies you're making.)
- I use a 1¼ inch cookie scoop for these cookies, but feel free to make them any size you like.
How to Make Them
See the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
- Combine the chai spices in a small bowl and chop the chocolate.
- Mix the flour and baking soda with the chai spices and salt. Then combine the softened butter with the sugars, vanilla, molasses, and cream. Gradually blend in the egg.
- Add the dry mixture and stir only until it's incorporated. Then fold in the chocolate chunks.
- Use a cookie scoop (approximately 1¼-inch) to shape the dough into balls, placing them on the parchment-lined baking sheets as you go. (They can be close together.)
- Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm, at least 1 hour.
- While the dough is in the refrigerator, preheat the to 350° F. Place 9 to 12 of the shaped cookie dough balls on another parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes in a 350° F oven, just until the edges are barely beginning to brown.
- Carefully remove the baked cookies with a metal spatula and place them on a cooling rack. Repeat this process until all of the cookies are baked.
What is Chai?
- Chai is the generic word for tea in Hindi, the main language of India. Chai is derived from the Chinese word for tea, which is Cha.
- Chai is a mix of spices steeped into a tea-like beverage, and recipes for it can vary greatly.
- Traditional ingredients for Chai usually include black tea mixed with strong spices, like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and black peppercorns. (There's no black tea in my Chai Spice Cookies -- just the alluring, exotic spices -- and chocolate.)
- The tea is typically brewed strong, and has milk and sugar or honey added to it.
What do Chai Spice Cookies taste like?
Fiery and sweet at the same time, this incredibly flavorful chai spice blend makes for a delicious and calming (yes, calming), cookie-eating experience.
While the individual flavors of the spices can be detected, it's the overall flavor of the blend that's so wonderful.
Imagine a chai tea latte with a bit of melting chocolate -- in cookie form.
They'll warm your heart and soothe your soul. Try them and see.
More Unique and Exotic Cookie Recipes
- Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
- Hatch Chile Chocolate Chip Cookies with Coconut
- Pistachio Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Creamy Coffee Chocolate Cookies
- Chestnut Cookies with Chocolate
How to Store Them
- Once they're completely cooled, these cookies can be stored in an airtight container, at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you don’t plan to serve them within the first couple days after baking them, you can freeze them.
- They can be kept frozen in an air-tight container for up to a month. (Longer is okay, but the longer they’re frozen, the more moisture they’ll loose.)
I hope you enjoy every last crumb, and that my Chai Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies become a favorite for you too.
Chai Cookies Recipe
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 large egg, lightly mixed with a fork
- 14 ounces milk chocolate, roughly chopped (or chips)
- Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper. Set them aside.
- Make chai spice mix and prep chocolate. Combine the chai spices in a small bowl and chop the chocolate. Set these aside, too.
- Make batter. In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour and baking soda with the chai spices and salt.In a slightly larger mixing bowl, combine the softened butter with the sugars, vanilla, molasses, and cream. Then, gradually blend in the egg.Add the flour mixture and stir only until the flour is incorporated. Then fold in the chocolate chunks.
- Shape and refrigerate. Use an (approximately 1¼ inch) cookie scoop to shape the dough into balls, placing each one on the parchment-lined baking sheets as you go. (At this point, the balls can be very close together.) Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm, at least 1 hour.
- While the dough is in the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Bake and cool. Place 9 to 12 of the shaped cookie dough balls on another parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, just until the dough has solidified. It might still look a bit doughy in the very center -- which is perfect!Carefully remove the baked cookies with a metal spatula and place them on a cooling rack. Repeat this process until all of the cookies are baked.
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