Chai Spice Butter Cookies

Sometimes, unexpected results in the kitchen end up creating the greatest foods.  An attempt at making chocolate cookies in the 1930s led to the first batch of chocolate chip cookies. A temperamental chef tries to get back at a picky customer and creates potato chips. A forgetful child accidentally makes the first Popsicle.

I tried to keep these things in mind as I tried to shape my chai-spiced spritz cookies. I don’t have a cookie press, but figured that a pastry tip fitted into a large plastic bag would do the trick. But the dough was far too thick, and the tip ripped through the bag before I could pipe any cookies.  Three bags later, I gave in to my frustration and decided to just roll the cookies into balls and cover them with cinnamon sugar.

I wasn’t ready to quit entirely, though.  I made another batch, cutting back on the flour, and rolled them out for cutting and baking.  I ended up with chai-spiced butter cookies cut to fit right on the edge of a mug. They’re not the spritz cookies I was going for, but they are pretty darn tasty regardless!

Chai Spice Butter Cookies

Yield: About 4 dozen cut-out cookies or 6 dozen drop cookies

Like biscotti, these cookies are best when paired with a hot beverage: coffee, cocoa or even tea. If you'd like, dip them in melted white chocolate and allow them to set for at least 30 minutes. The chocolate will melt into your hot drink as you dip the cookies for a little extra deliciousness.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • For the drop cookies:
  • 1/4 cup ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a cookie sheet.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy and smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until blended.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour to the butter in three parts, beating well after each addition.
  4. For the cut-out cookies.
  5. Divide the dough in half. Dust a cutting board liberally with flour, and place half the dough on the board. Sprinkle with flour and roll out to 1/2" thick. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Cut the dough into shapes using your favorite cookie cutters. If you want these to fit on the edge of your mug, either use a cookie cutter especially designed for this purpose or cut a 1/2" wide slit into the edge of each cookie. Space the cookies 1" apart on the greased cookie sheet and bake at 350F for 12-14 minutes, or until the bottoms begin to turn golden. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. If you'd like, dip the cooled cookies into melted white chocolate.
  7. For the drop cookies:
  8. Roll the dough into 1" balls. Whisk the 1/4 cup cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar together, and roll each dough ball in the cinnamon-sugar. Space the cookies 2" apart on the greased baking sheet and bake at 350F for 13-15 minutes, or until the cookies begin to firm up. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make Ahead and Storage

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012These cookies were made for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  I hope Sara, Kara and Erin enjoyed their Chai Spice Butter Cookies.  Thank you to Natalie, Sarah and Ali for sending me some delicious treats!


  1. Kiersten says

    Too funny that you have a spritz recipe today — last night I had a spritz cookie catastrophe which ended in both rolled and cut cookies and thumbprint cookies with jam but no cookies from my cookie press!

  2. says

    These were delicious!!! I definitely want to make them again sometime – I love all things Chai and these included. Thank you 🙂