Chai-Spice Sugar Cookies

Chai-Spice Sugar Cookies: like you dipped a sugar cookie into a vanilla chai latte. Blissful. 

Chai-Spice Sugar Cookies

Chai-Spice Sugar Cookies

For the past two weeks I have been totally addicted to Downton Abbey. I’ll admit it, I was a little annoyed when suddenly everyone wouldn’t shut up about the show and it kept winning a bunch of awards. I finally caved and decided to give it a shot on Netflix. For the first 30 minutes I was bored. And a little confused. But then, something happened and I couldn’t stop watching.

Now, two weeks later, I’ve watched both season 1 and 2. And now I don’t know what to do with myself!


What will happen to Mr. Bates and Anna!? Or Mary and Matthew? And when will I ever be able to give Daisy a hug? Or slap Thomas across the face for being such a conniving little worm? Come to think of it, I wouldn’t mind slapping Sir Richard either. When will Carson come and serve me dinner made by Mrs. Patmore?

Ugh. I need a new television show to watch. Suggestions?

Recipe Rundown

Taste: Like you dipped a sugar cookie in a vanilla chai latte. Blissful.
Texture: Thick and slightly crunchy around the edges, chewy yet soft in the middle. Perfect sugar cookie texture.
Ease: You don’t even need an electric mixer for this recipe.
Appearance: I love the bright, glistening quality of sugar cookies.
Pros: A unique twist on what might otherwise be a boring recipe.
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Yes.


Chai-Spice Sugar Cookies

Yield: about 24 cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 11 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar plus 1/3 cup for rolling
2 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch ground black pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl place 1 1/2 cups sugar, cream cheese, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and pepper. Pour warm melted butter over mixture and whisk to combine. The mixture may be slightly lumpy. Whisk in oil until combined. Add egg, milk, and vanilla, whisking until incorporated and smooth. Stir in the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until incorporated and dough is soft, being careful not to overwork.

Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a shallow dish. Roll out 2-tablespoon-sized balls of dough and coat in sugar before placing on prepared baking sheets. Flatten each dough ball until 2 inches in diameter with the bottom of a measuring cup. Sprinkle flattened dough rounds with 4 teaspoons of the remaining sugar.

Bake for 11-13 minutes, rotating halfway through, until cookies are set the the edges begin to brown. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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22 Responses to “Chai-Spice Sugar Cookies”

  1. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — March 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I llooovvvee Downton Abbey! Since I also love every other television show in existence (not really, but I do watch A LOT of tv) I am more than happy to recommend additional shows! If you want to stay in the British realm then Doctor Who and Sherlock are no-brainers. For just plain good tv I would go with: 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Modern Family, Gilmore Girls and Alias. Can't go wrong with any of those!

    • handleheat replied: — March 19th, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

      Liz – LOVE Parks & Rec, 30 Rock, Modern Family, and Buffy. I've never really gotten into the other shows you suggested, hopefully I'll find my new addiction in them :)

  2. #
    Jennifer — March 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I tried watching Downton Abbey but got bored quickly…maybe I need to be more persistent like you and get through the first 30 minutes.
    I love chai tea lattes from Starbucks so I'll have to bookmark this recipe!

  3. #
    John — March 19, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Re-posting recipes (“adapted” as you like to say) from cookbooks and other websites is what confuses me about the food blogging world. How many of you can actually write an original recipe? Will your cookbook have any original content?

    • handleheat replied: — March 19th, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

      Hi John – to answer your complaints, creating original recipes requires tremendous time, effort, and money. I can only speak for myself and not the “food blogging world,” but I am a full time student and have another job outside of blogging. I have neither the time or funds to create 3-5 quality recipes every week. When I can, I do try to develop recipes. However, as of now my blog consists of both adapted and original recipes. If this upsets you, feel free to only read national food publications that can afford to have a test kitchen and staff to develop recipes.

      My cookbook will have original content and recipes that I have tested scrupulously.

      Another note, when another recipe inspires me in any way, even if I've made large changes to the ingredients and/or method, I still like to give credit to that recipe.

      • John replied: — March 19th, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

        in retrospect, my comments were negative and I do appreciate your heartfelt response. I realize a blog is more than just recipes and actually has a theme and “personality” which you have created. Hope my venting didn't ruin your day.

        • handleheat replied: — March 19th, 2012 @ 5:42 pm

          Thanks for the response, John. I've found that blogging and being accessible on the internet opens myself up to comments and criticism. To each his/her own :)

  4. #
    grace — March 19, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    welcome to the downton abbey fan club! i definitely second the sherlock recommendation–it's a lot of fun! also, there's a show that's similar to downton abbey but a little less soapy called upstairs, downstairs. be sure to find the most recent version, i think you'll like it!
    oh, and fabulous cookies, obviously. chai spices are amazing in any application!

    • grace replied: — March 19th, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

      also, kudos on your mature reaction to dear john.

      • handleheat replied: — March 21st, 2012 @ 5:15 am

        Thank you :)

  5. #
    snixykitchen — March 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    I love Chai tea, so I can't wait to try these cookies!

  6. #
    Stephanie — March 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Ok, I love chai anything so I LOVE these cookies!!!

  7. #
    Amilia — March 21, 2012 at 12:54 am

    I am with you on missing Downton Abbey! I love it so much and am searching for other shows that I can watch :) Let me know if you find something else you like!

  8. #
    Amy — March 21, 2012 at 1:12 am

    I tried these cookies today and they're amazing! Definitely my new favorite cookie :-)

  9. #
    Sugar Mamma Baking — March 21, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    I totally got addicted to Downton Abbey on Netflix too! Now I am hooked on Mad Men, another show I avoided because of all the buzz. But I am enjoying it and with 4 seasons X 12 episodes/season, I won't run out of shows to watch any time soon.

    I am also crazy about chai spice cookies! You should try an oatmeal cookie with the chai spice and chopped crystallized ginger – so yummy!

  10. #
    Sydney — March 26, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    My bf and I loooooove Downton and the other day we were out on our lunch break and who should we see?! DAISY! I was really excited :) I've also seen Carson and my bf has seen Carlisle.. I love working where I do..

    PS. these cookies sound awesome!

  11. #
    Irma — March 26, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Making these cookies right now. Only 3 more minutes to go till the first batch is baked.The cookie dough was very nice to handle. I cut the sugar back to 1 cup and it was nicely sweet. They sure spread out while baking. These would dress up nice with a cardamom glaze. They smell delicious…can hardly wait for them to cool down to try one.

  12. #
    Monali — May 19, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Would I be able to use a pre made chai spice mix in this recipe?

    • handleheat replied: — May 19th, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

      I think that would be fine – the total amount of spices in this recipes adds up to about 1 teaspoon.

  13. #
    Sarah — May 22, 2012 at 1:38 am

    these cookies are amazing! thanks for the recipe! you should try watching Revenge on ABC I'm obsessed!

  14. #
    Emily — November 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    This recipe sounds amazing!!! I’m making some cookies to bring for Thanksgiving–have this recipe and a brown butter pumpkin shortbread recipe I can’t wait to try out! I just had a quick question about yours-how well do these sugar cookies hold their shapes? Are they good cookies to make if you want to use cookie cutters and decorate as opposed to just make round cookies? Thanks! (Also a huge Downton fan! Damages is another of my favs, it’s on netflix and completely addicted, Glenn Close is crazy!!)

    • Tessa replied: — November 26th, 2013 @ 10:23 am

      Hi Emily, thanks for your comment! I’ve never used this dough recipe to make cut-out cookies but if you wanted to try I would chill the dough for about an hour before rolling out and cooking into shapes. Good luck!

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