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Vanilla Chai Shortbread Cookies are lightly sweet cookies that are the perfect accompaniment to a warm cup of tea or coffee. This easy cookie recipe may easily become a favorite cookie!
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I originally shared this recipe for Vanilla Chai Shortbread Cookies back in 2013 after we had been on vacation in Washington on our way to see Mt. Saint Helens and stopped at this tiny little roadside snack shop. I ordered the vanilla chai milkshake and I had been dreaming about it ever since! Oh my, it was SO good.
Since then, I’ve come to enjoy all kinds of chai spiced foods and beverages. Be sure to check out my Make Ahead Chai Latte with easy frothed milk or Homemade Iced Chai Latte recipes too!
Several years ago, I used to host a 12 Weeks Of Christmas treats roundup with other bloggers and I couldn’t wait to share these Vanilla Chai Shortbread Cookies recipe. I originally found it while through the Crazy About Cookies cookbook that I had picked up the year before. (Hint: I’ve found a few good cookbooks at Kohl’s when they have them seasonally near the checkout lines).
The book itself is a bit strange, as I kind of wonder if the graphic designer who was setting it up kind of forgot about page breaks. All of the recipes seem to flow together. That said, the recipes I’ve tried so far have been good.
Vanilla Chai Cookie Inspiration
So when I was flipping through the book looking for chai inspiration, imagine my surprise when I came across a masala chai spiced cookie! It was a perfect starting point on my cookie quest. I changed up the original recipe to include vanilla also adjusted some other ingredients to get the taste I was looking for and made it my own. The result is what I’m sharing with you!
These Vanilla Chai Shortbread Cookies are a subtly sweet cookie and are great with a warm cup of tea or coffee. Since I originally shared it, I even had a bed and breakfast in California share with me that they make them regularly for their guests. How cool is that?!
The vanilla glaze adds just a bit extra vanilla flavor. Sometimes, though, they do make the cookie a bit more moist and dense so it’s up to you to include it or not. These Vanilla Chai Shortbread Cookies come together quickly and like most cookies, can be made ahead and frozen for later too.
My mouth is watering just thinking about these Vanilla Chai Shortbread Cookies. I think I’m going to have to make another batch soon!
Chai is the term for tea in many languages and masala is an Indian word that means spice blend. While the exact blend for chai can vary, the most commonly used ingredients include cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, pepper and ginger and black tea. I found a blend from Kroger that I love to make just as a beverage (served with a touch of sugar and milk—yum!). So I used that for my cookies.
I hope you’ll give these Vanilla Chai Shortbread Cookies a try.
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Vanilla Chai Shortbread Cookies
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chai-spiced tea finely ground (or about six tea bags if you are not using loose tea)
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray two cookie sheets with non-stick spray or butter pans (I like to use my stoneware baking sheets so I don’t have to do any of that!)
- Combine the flour, salt and ground tea in a bowl; set aside.
- Cream the butter and powdered sugar until blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg and lemon zest.
- Gradually add the flour mixture until well blended. Wrap in plastic wrap and flatten to a disc shape. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (flattening will help it cool faster)
- Roll the dough out to ¼ inch thick and cut with a cookie cutter. Place on the cookie sheets 1 ½ inches apart.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a rack to cool.
- Meanwhile, combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla to make glaze. Brush on cooled cookies and allow to dry.
Store baked cookies in an airtight container at room temperature or freeze for up to three months.
If you like this recipe, don’t miss these other sweet treats that go well with a hot cup of tea or coffee (or just because)
Soft and Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookie Biscotti
Lemon Honey Soft Cookies
Chocolate Cherry Cutout Sugar Cookies
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