Chai Tea Cookies

Chai tea cookies | She Paused 4 ThoughtThere are flavors and aromas that instantly carry me to an exotic destination. Spices that grace a typical Indian milk tea called Masala Chai is my transporter of choice.

While traveling in India one of my favorite indulgences is a Masala Chia tea drunk at tiny tea stalls everywhere. The delicious warmth of this memorable drink is what inspired this mixture of aromatic spices in a shortbread cookie recipe. Le Pétrin’s blog inspired making the cookies in the shape of teabags.

The beautiful teapot in the picture above was a gift I purchased for my husband while in Jaipur, India. When I presented it to him he said, “Thanks for the bong babe.” I was horrified to learn I purchased a water pipe and not a teapot. I told the shop owner I wanted to purchase a teapot and the only English word he probably understood was pot. Either way, it is now a focal point in my kitchen, and it always evokes good conversation.

Today’s Recipe

I thought I was being clever when I tried to re-engineer a football helmet cookie cutter into the shape of a teabag; it was a waste of time as the bandwidth for channeling Martha Stewart was on overload that day.

She Paused 4 Thought | Cathy Nelson Arkle

If you are like me, I want to get started as fast as possible.

She Paused 4 Thought | Cathy Nelson Arkle

One quick way to bring butter to room temperature is to grate it.

When you finish mixing the dough it will be crumbly. Knead it until the flour is incorporated and dough sticks together when squeezed.

She Paused 4 Thought | Cathy Nelson Arkle

Shape it into a disk and roll out on mat. Cut around teabag template made on card stock. (I loosely traced around a teabag to make this.)

She Paused 4 Thought | Cathy Nelson Arkle

The holes for the teabags are made with a straw before cooking. Once cooled, I dipped the cookies in melted chocolate.

She Paused 4 Thought | Cathy Nelson Arkle

I made the tags on my computer and used embroidery thread for the string. I poked a hole through the tag with a pencil and pushed the thread through. I used sticky tape to hold the string to the tag, then taped both sides together.

Chai Tea Cookies | She Paused 4 Thought

Chai Tea Cookies
 
These adorable spicy teabag shaped cookies are sure to be a hit at your next party or cookie exchange.
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces unsalted Kerrygold butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces chocolate, chopped
Instructions
Cookie Directions:
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and granulated sugar until they are just combined and add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt and spices, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump the crumbly mixture onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Roll out the dough ¼-inch thick and cut into teabag shapes with a template. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. Use a straw to poke a hole at the top of each teabag cookie.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow cookies to cool to room temperature.
Chocolate Directions:
  1. Fill the bottom of a double boiler with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the chopped chocolate to the top of the double boiler, reduce the heat to medium, and stir the chocolate from time to time until it is completely melted. Keep it warm in the double boiler, so it stays liquid.
  3. Dip bottom of cookie in melted chocolate and place on parchment paper to cool.
Notes
Total Time:1 hr 15 min |
Prep 20 min - Cook 25 min |
Yield: approximately 24 cookies

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Daisy Shortbread Cookies. If you don’t have a double broiler, click here for melting chocolate instructions.she paused 4 thought line break

I took these cookies to the Food Blogger Los Angeles cookie exchange. Check out the links below for all of the fabulous cookie recipes from this great group of cooks.

Chai Tea Cookies | She Paused 4 Thought

With my leftover dough I made Hedgehog cookies. Post coming soon.

hedgehog cookies | she paused 4 thought

Quote of the Day:

“Smell is so powerful, you know. My grannies would both bake things like shortbreads and cookies. I think whenever I smell those kinds of things it really takes me back to my childhood.” – Curtis Stone

“Sift exotic spices into any cookie dough, and be transported to a distant land of pleasure.” – Cathy Arkle
…and then, she paused for thought.

FBLA 2013 Cookie Exchange Recipes

Non-Cookie Items

About Cathy Arkle

Cathy Arkle is a food blogger, culinary explorer, graphic artist, and cooking class junkie. Her inspirations come from her travels across the globe (50 countries) in the last 20+ years partaking in various ethnic cuisines while working as a graphic artist for major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX & ESPN). She has collected a few Emmys in the field of graphic design for sports & entertainment. Cathy is also a graduate of the Pro Chef courses at The New School of Cooking in Culver City, CA

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45 Responses to Chai Tea Cookies

  1. Susan Herrmann December 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    Cathy, the teabag cookies are very clever! And they sound delicious. Always so creative…

    • Cathy December 10, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

      Thanks Susan! They were a lot of work but so much fun.

  2. Fresh Food in a Flash December 10, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    You are so clever and creative. Always inspired by you! I took home two of these beauties and I can’t bring myself to eat them, as they are show pieces. I also got one hedgehog, which will sit proudly on my Christmas cookie platter. I just hope no one eats him. He’s so cute!

    • Cathy December 10, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      Thanks Patricia, so glad they made people smile. I think we should shellac them so we can keep them for next year. :)

  3. Dana @ FoodieGoesHealthy December 10, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    Sometimes cute things look better than they taste, but not in this case. These are a double winner: adorable and delicious. We enjoyed ours. So for all you FBLAers who are staring at the cuteness, dig in! Great job Cathy… and funny story too.

    • Cathy December 11, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

      Thanks Dana, I appreciate your kind words. Hard to compete with your naughty and nice cookie display. I enjoyed being, I mean eating both. :)

  4. Nan December 11, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    Wonderful! Bet you had a ball making these. Keep up the good work.

    • Cathy December 11, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

      Thanks Nan, they were a labor of love.

  5. Lentil Breakdown December 11, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    These cookies were the bong at the cookie swap (hedgehogs came in second). Simply brilliant!

    • Cathy December 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

      Hedgehogs coming up next. So glad you enjoyed them both.

  6. Lynne @ CookandBeMerry December 11, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    Your creativity is truly inspiring. And delicious looking. Nice work. Happy Holidays!

  7. Cathy December 11, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Happy Holidays to you too Lynne. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. sippitysup December 14, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    Oh “Martha” I think the teabags are fabulous! GREG

    • Cathy December 14, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

      Thanks Greg. I receive your compliment. ;)

  9. Valentina Kenney (@cookingweekends) December 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    These are wonderful! A labor of love! And they were delicious!

  10. Alison Ashton December 18, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    These are impressive!

    • Cathy December 18, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

      Thanks Alison! I loved your Cardamom Gingersnap Cookies!

  11. theninjabaker December 18, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    Amazing maybe an overused word but aptly describes your lovely Chai cookies, Cathy…I’m intrigued by your travels in India and would love to read more about your experiences. Love the story about the mistaken tea pot!

    • Cathy December 18, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

      Thanks Kim! I am trying to incorporate more of my travels in my blog. I will work on more India inspired blogs in 2014. We should exchange travel stories.

  12. Nancy Rose Eisman December 18, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    Cathy, these were even better looking and better tasting in person. If there was a blue ribbon, these cookies would be the winner.

    • Cathy December 18, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

      Thanks Nancy, I really appreciate your comment. :)

  13. Alanna December 18, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    Adorable AND delicious. The chai flavor really pulled through! Thanks for sharing!

    • Cathy December 18, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

      Thanks Alanna! So glad you enjoyed them.

  14. bumbleberry breeze December 19, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    Who needs Martha when we’ve got Cathy! And we can just pretend the bong is a teapot! This is a terrific post and I’m so glad I actually got to eat a teabag cookie- you were right on with the spices. Meanwhile, little hedgehog cookie is still peering at me and Joel- we can’t eat him just yet because we love him him with us… what to do! Your creativity inspires me!

  15. Christina @ChristinasCucina December 20, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea and your teapot story is hilarious! Your photos are gorgeous as always, and I’m just so bummed I didn’t get to sample these and your hedgehog cookies at the swap! :(

  16. Johne540 May 1, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    You have brought up very good details, thank you for the post.

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