Culinary confession: I am obsessed with chai tea! Warm cinnamon, cloves, and other yummy spices mixed in a cup of creamy sweet heaven is my go-to drink of choice. It’s been a good 20-some years since someone first handed me a mug of steaming heavenly chai, and it’s never lost its allure.
It’s pretty amazing that I’ve been writing this blog and developing recipes for 6 years now (wow!) and haven’t done a chai cookie yet. Well the wait is over and here it is. 🙂
I chose the Woodland set because their cute little faces seemed oh so appropriate for a fall-friendly flavor like chai. Cool fall nights or chilly winter days are so perfect for chai. So I threw in some fall leaves and snowflakes and made a little collage of shapes. All of the sets I used in this post are shown and linked below: Woodland; the bunny, bird, and teardrop leaf from the disk set that comes with our cookie press; the maple and oak leaves from the Leaves set; and snowflakes from the Snowflakes and press sets. (Find all of our disks and our press on our website: www.impressbakeware.com )
I almost made the Dogs set the feature of this post. They made some mighty fine looking chai cookies! Snowflakes were also just too cute. I sprinkled this blog with the photos of everything that I thought turned out adorable.
Pick whatever shapes make you happy, make a piping hot cup of chai, and settle in for a little relaxing me time.
Ok here we go!
For this recipe I used my favorite brand – Oregon Chai – to add some pop to these cookies (my blog is not sponsored in any way, I received no compensation for mentioning this).
The recipe is the first time I tried a trick to make extra tender cookies- adding a little corn starch to the flour mixture. I hope you all like it as much as I do; I thought the addition was wonderful. The texture of these is really quite exquisite.
Susie’s favorite Chai Spritz Cookies
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened (not melted) (I recommend Land O Lakes brand as I know it creams well. I have had trouble with some generic butters not creaming properly and making the dough hard to press)
1/2 cup granulated (white) sugar
1/3 cup honey
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
*** Cardamom is a traditional spice in chai, however I found that its astringent nature made the cookies a bit dry and sharp tasting. You can include it or other spices like black pepper, nutmeg, or whatever warm spices you prefer in your chai. I included the basic spices in the cookie dough and embellished it with the chai powdered sprinkled on top.
For sprinkling on top before baking: Oregon Chai Tea Latte Powder
Preheat your oven to 400°F
In a large bowl, combine flour, corn starch, and spices. Set aside.
I have to say this for those new to my blog! Using an electric mixer, cream the butter very well. I am admittedly rather repetitive about this, but it’s the thing I stress the most about making spritz cookies. Set that mixer on the highest setting and pretend you’re making frosting. Well-creamed butter is the basis for a fabulous spritz dough. It should have nice little peaks and be slightly lighter in color.
Add the sugar and whip it well until you have a fluffy mixture. Add the egg and do it again!
Slowly add the flour mixture on low speed. Mix until the flour is completely incorporated and you have a consistent texture and a slightly stiff dough. This dough does well if you let it sit for about 10 minutes before putting it In the press. It becomes drier, stiffer, and easier to press as it sits. If it doesn’t set quite stiff enough, remember you can troubleshoot any dough by adding flour a tablespoon at a time to overly soft dough, or adding vanilla a teaspoon at a time to overly stiff dough.
Spritz dough has a beautiful breakable texture. It is malleable in your hands but it breaks nicely as you press it. If you’re new to this watch any of my videos to see how it should look and feel. 🙂
When your dough is just right, pack it into your cookie press, using the back of a spoon to remove all air pockets as you go.
Have your disks ready. We have over 200 shapes so choose whatever gives you a big smile.
Choose your first shape and begin pressing onto ungreased cookies sheets.
Spritz cookies have to stick to the pan as you press their shapes, so never grease cookie sheets and don’t use non-stick pans.
Always remember that the first few cookies often come out wrong, as pressure needs to build up in the barrel. If you press out a few or even a row of goofy-shaped cookies, just toss them back in the bowl to be re-pressed. No biggie! Once you are achieving a good shape, try to press in a consistent rhythm.
Woodland disks and the oak leaf from the Leaves set.
Remember that with one-click-per-cookie presses, some shapes might take a bit less than a full click yet others might require you to squeeze a little more after the click. A cookie press is simply a dough pump. Just think of it as a way to extrude the dough, regardless of “clicks”. If you seem to get out of synch and it just isn’t working, try pressing a cookie into the air, just letting dough come out. It will re-establish proper pressure. Just wipe the dough away and put it back in the bowl to be re-pressed.
I pressed a lot of different shapes to give you some ideas.
Pumpkins from the Halloween set, snowflake #13 from the press set, and snowflake #2 from the snowflakes set.
Gourd/pumpkins from the Thanksgiving set and snowflake #11 from the snowflakes set.
The dogs set and the dachshund from the press box set!
Rustic Tree and Moose head from Woodland, maple leaf from Leaves, and the bunny and bird from the press set.
Once your cookies are pressed, there are two steps to making them even more chai-licious. First sprinkle them with some simple granulated sugar to add a sweet pop. (A spoon tapped gently on the side can shake sugar well.) Then use a spoon or a mesh spoon sifter/sieve to sprinkle the Chai Mix Powder over the sugar. Because tea and cardamom are somewhat astringent, I found that the sugar helped mellow the flavor so it wasn’t too sharp or bitter. Like the dough, this chai mix has honey in it and it’s superb on the cookies!
Same cookies sprinkled with sugar and chai powder. Give them a good smothering but try not to fill in the spaces in the designs too deep. You want your shapes to look good!
These cookies take about 9 minutes in my oven. I recommend setting the timer for 6 minutes and checking often to figure out what works with your oven. Remember, small cookies bake faster and large cookies take longer. Keep that in mind when pressing. Group like sizes together if you can to avoid burned or under-baked cookies. They’re done when they’re slightly browning around the edges.
Let them sit just a few minutes on the cookie sheet so they hold together when you move them.
I placed candy eyes on my Woodland critters but you could leave them off and they’d look just as cute. Black icing dots would also do the trick.
That’s it! I made myself a mug of chai using Oregon Chai’s liquid chai mix (my absolute favorite, though the dry mix is great in a pinch and lasts a long time.). I added a little spice mix and shaved chocolate into the foam and sat down for a little me time. 🙂
I wish you all Happy Baking, a happy fall and winter, and invite you to “Press the possibilities!”
Disk Designer/Co-Owner at Impress! Bakeware, LLC
“Get creative with your cookie press!”
Find all of our disks and our press on our website: www.impressbakeware.com
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Our products are also available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Impress+Bakeware&ref=bl_dp_s_web_0
The Woodland Disk Set:
The Cookie Press and 12 Disks:
The Leaves Set
The Snowflakes Set