Coated in sugar and chai spices, these chewy chai spiced snickerdoodles are the perfect cookie for the holidays. They are also incredibly easy to make, coming together in less than an hour.
I have always wanted to make snickerdoodle cookies, but I honestly never knew how to. So this year I made it a goal to learn how to make these chewy and tangy cookies. I adapted this recipe, and made my own version of these surprisingly easy cookies! These are my chai spiced snickerdoodles!
If you can’t tell, I am obsessed with chai spiced desserts. I’ve made chocolate chip cookies, rice krispie treats, and even cinnamon rolls with this yummy spice mixture. Chai spices just add the most amazing flavor to desserts, and it also makes desserts less sweet. And these cookies are no less yummy. They’re honestly AMAZING. I kept eating them as I tested this recipe.
Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments
- Unsalted butter – The butter helps provide structure to the cookie. I have heard you can replace butter with 1:1 vegan butter to make these cookies a bit healther, but I honestly have not tried it. The best advice I got is to find the vegan butter with a label that tells you can substitute 1:1 with regular butter.
- Granulated sugar – Provides sweetness and chewiness to the cookie. I would highly recommend using white sugar for this recipe because it gives the cookie its signature chewy texture. I am not sure if the liquid content of other sugars would give you the same experience.
- Eggs – Provides richness to the cookie
- Vanilla extract – Substitute vanilla extract with vanilla paste or 1 vanilla bean. Both substitutes will yield better flavor because the vanilla flavor is more concentrated.
- Almond extract – This is my own addition to the recipe. I love how almond extract add bit more flavor to the cookie. However, if you don’t like almond extract, you can leave it out.
- All purpose flour – Flour provides structure and texture to the cookie.
- Cream of tartar – Cream of tartar is essential to a snickerdoodle recipe because this leavener is what gives the cookie it’s signature tangy flavor. Do not substitute!
- Baking soda – When testing this recipe, I made the mistake of leaving this out accidentally and the cookies came out really hard. I learned that hard way that this ingredient is an essentially leavener and gives the cookies a soft, chewy texture.
- Salt for seasoning
- Chai spice mixture – I use a combination of earl grey tea, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, and ginger for my chai spice mixture, but you can use a variety of different spices for your mixture. For some people, that might mean simply including some type of black tea and cardamom for their mixture. My recommendation for making your own chai spice mixture is to include some type of black tea and your choice of warm spices.
How to make chai spiced snickerdoodles
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract and mix until combined. Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Let dough rest for 20 minutes in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees F). Prepare 2 baking sheets by covering them with parchment paper. Combine all the ingredients for the chai spice mixture in a bowl. Mix until combined. Use a 2 tbsp cookie scoop (small cookie scoop) to scoop the dough into your hand. Roll into a ball. Drop the dough ball into the chai spice mixture and coat with the mixture. Repeat this process one more time to ensure the dough is full coated.
Place dough on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten with the palm of your hand. Bake for 9-11 minutes until the edges start to brown. Chill for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Tips on how to make the perfect chai spiced snickerdoodles
My hack for room temperature butter
Sometimes I forget to leave my butter out so it gets to room temperature. Or sometimes, I just lose patience, so I was so excited when I discovered a hack for getting room temperature, softened butter. To get room temperature butter right away, place the butter in the microwave and defrost for 1-2 minutes.
Rest the cookie in the fridge for better flavor
In the original recipe, she says that you should rest in the fridge if you have time. I tried baking the cookie right away, but I found 1) they weren’t as flavorful and 2) they were harder to work with. When you rest cookie dough in the fridge for any cookies, the flavors distribute more throughout the dough, making for a better cookie.
Use a cookie scoop for uniform cookie sizes
I used a small cookie scoop for easy scooping and for uniform cookies! If you don’t have a cookie scoop, a regular spoon works too!
Roll in chai spice mixture twice
When I make these cookies, I roll the dough into a ball, coat it with the chai spice mixture, then do that all again. This ensures the entire cookie has a nice coating. The cookie itself doesn’t have that much flavor other than what we added with the 2 extracts, so this double coating helps the cookie flavor wise.
Should you flatten your cookies before baking?
Flattening the cookie dough with your palm makes the cookies flatter. If you want a chunkier cookie, do not flatten them.
Did you make these cookies?
If you made this dish, I would love to see!
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Chewy Chai Spiced Snickerdoodles
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
Chai Spice Mixture
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp earl grey tea powdered
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp ground star anise
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract and mix until combined
- Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined.
- Let dough rest for 20 minutes in the fridge.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees F).
- Prepare 2 baking sheets by covering them with parchment paper.
- Add the earl grey tea to a spice grinder and pulse until it turns to powder.
- Combine all the ingredients for the chai spice mixture in a bowl. Mix until combined.
- Use a 2 tbsp cookie scoop (small cookie scoop) to scoop the dough into your hand.
- Roll into a ball. Drop the dough ball into the chai spice mixture and coat with the mixture. Repeat this process one more time to ensure the dough is full coated.
- Place dough on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten with the palm of your hand.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes until the edges start to brown.
- Chill for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
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