‘Tis the season for holiday cookie swaps and treating yourself to all the best the holiday has to offer. Even though my family doesn’t technically celebrate Christmas, I do go all out with the traditions that come with the holiday. I consider Christmas-gifting a sport, absolutely love attending all of the joy-filled dinners and gatherings with friends and family, and of course indulge in all of the holiday baking I’ve been waiting months for. And while I’m never one to turn down a cookie, there’s something that makes them even more special during this time of year.
I’m all about a cookie swap, and it’s always so fun to see what everyone brings. Each person puts their own spin and personality into a cookie recipe, and it’s so cool to see which cookie everyone considers their must-have tradition. I love a good Linzer or Chocolate Peppermint cookie, but they’re taking a back seat for me this year after coming up with this recipe.
You guys know I’m all about everything chai-related, and being able to put those flavors into the perfect sugar cookie was like finding an all new Christmas tradition for me. For me, the best kind of sugar cookie is slightly crisp on the edges and soft and tender in the middle. Having the spices and orange zest in this cookie keep it from being overly sweet, and of course anything dipped in chocolate is perfect to me. You could of course top these cookies off with a royal icing and decorate them as fancy holiday cookies, but there’s nothing easier than a quick dip in melted chocolate and a smattering of red and green sprinkles. It’s simple, but festive!
Wrap these guys up and bring them to your holiday cookie party, share them with your neighbors this season, or just make a batch for yourself. I promise I won’t tell!
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- Masala Chai Leaves from 3 - 4 bags of tea (about 1 1/2 tbsp)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 tsp dried ginger
- Zest of 1 orange
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- for dipping and decorating - melted dark chocolate and sprinkles
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a stand mixer, add the softened butter and granulated sugar. Beat together until light in color. Add the eggs, vanilla, and all of the zest and spices and mix together until combined.
- Add the Chai leaves from the tea bags into a spice grinder and blitz until the leaves are finely ground. Add to the mixer and combine with the rest of the mixture.
- Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time to the mixer, waiting until the flour has been incorporated by the mixer into the butter mixture each time before adding the next 1/2 cup of flour. *Tip - scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl halfway through to make sure all of the flour is incorporated.
- Once the dough has come together, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and use your hands to work the dough together into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for about 15 - 20 minutes.
- Remove dough from fridge and roll out to a 1/4" thickness and use cookie cutters of your choice. Place the cookies onto the baking sheets.
- Bake for about 12 minutes, then remove from oven. Watch that the edges don't get too golden, the middle of the cookies shouldn't take much color. Place cookies on a cooling rack after baking and allow to cool entirely before dipping into chocolate.
- Melt dark chocolate in a microwave bowl or double boiler (depending on your preference), and dip cookies into the chocolate, placing on a parchment lined plate or tray. Add sprinkles of your choice onto the cookies while chocolate is still melted. Let the chocolate cool and set.