Let’s continue having a chai spice moment together. I LOVED your response to my chai cinnamon swirl bundt cake last month. We still have some in the freezer and it’s slightly embarrassing how much I’m looking forward to thawing it out. That thick chai spice swirl gets me every time.
Pumpkin spice, you’re nice, but you’ve got nothing on chai. This harmonious blend of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice is bold, warm, and spicy in all the right ways. Its robust flavor is a dream inside buttery bundt cake and, dare I say it, even better enrobing soft and chewy snickerdoodle cookies. I was going to wait until Christmas cookie palooza (year 5 this year!) to share this recipe with you, but impatience clearly got the best of me. As it usually does. Especially when cookies are involved.
Instead of traditional snickerdoodles, spice up your holiday cookie trays (or random Monday nights… no judgement) with CHAI snickerdoodles. Throw some white chocolate chips in there because (1) so tasty with spicy chai and (2) you fellow texture freaks always appreciate a nice chunky cookie.
I love this base recipe for snickerdoodle cookies. No. Love doesn’t even cut it. I’m CRAZY for it. The recipe is slightly different from my soft and thick snickerdoodle recipe. I add an additional egg so the dough comes together a little more easily– and so the cookies spread a bit more. (I love a super puffy snickerdoodle, but wanted a bit more spread here.) However! To keep the cookies from spreading *too* much, I added a little baking soda. That keeps the cookies lifted and light. And, surprise surprise, I also add some brown sugar for flavor.
Don’t skip the cream of tartar. It’s what gives snickerdoodle’s their signature flavor. I linked to this article last year, but it’s worth sharing again: the real difference between snickerdoodles and sugar cookies. Snickerdoodles aren’t just sugar cookies rolled in cinnamon sugar. No no no! They’re so much more than that. And guess what? The cream of tartar is responsible the distinguishing difference.
I’m crowning them the signature cookie for this fall season. The edges are awesomely chewy, the tops are crackly, the centers are pillowy soft and buttery, and the entire cookie is swimming in robust and mega flavorful chai spices. They’re little chai spice pillows. And you may never go back to ordinary snickerdoodles ever again. (!!!!)
- 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups (270g) white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Beat in the white chocolate chips. The cookie dough will be thick. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour and up to 3 days.
- Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator. If the cookie dough chilled longer than 3-4 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. This makes the cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
- Combine the topping ingredients. Set aside.
- Roll cookie dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie. Roll each in the topping mixture and place 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft.
- Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. While the cookies are still warm, I like to press a few more white chocolate chips into the tops– this is only for looks!
Make ahead tip: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 5. I suggest freezing the cookie dough as a whole (for up to 3 months), then thawing overnight in the refrigerator before rolling/shaping.
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