Imagine biting into a melt-in-your-mouth, soft and buttery Chai Snickerdoodle, cookie coated in sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves. The aroma of chai spices and buttery cookies being baked in the oven is quite intoxicating.
A cup of hot tea, coffee, or milk might encourage you to slow down and take a deep breath while sinking your teeth into these buttery gems.
Snickerdoodle cookies are my absolute favorite cookie that my grandmother used to bake growing up. She even used to call me snickerdoodle, so whenever I think of these cookies I am immediately transported back in time and feel a sense of connection with her.
Not only do they hold a special place in my heart, but they are absolutely DIVINE and quite possibly some of the best cookies I have ever eaten!
The only slight change I’ve made to the recipe is adding a lovely chai spice blend to coat the cookies in, instead of just cinnamon and sugar. I’m pretty positive my grandmother would even approve!
How to enhance the flavor and texture of these cookies
- If you can’t find ground cardamom in your local grocery store (here is an Amazon affiliate link–>), grind whole cardamom pods in a mortar and pestle (take them out of their green shell first) with the other spices to help create friction. Or you can put them in a Ziploc bag and pound them with a small pan or rolling pin. Don’t worry if they don’t completely grind into a powder. Those tiny speckles of cardamom will enhance the aroma and flavor of the cookies.
- Instead of creaming the butter and sugar right off the bat, cream the butter first with the salt until it’s the consistency of thick mayo to create an even lighter and fluffier texture. Then add the sugar to the butter and cream once more.
- Lastly, don’t over-bake the cookies! Take them out of the oven just after they just start to crack on the surface. If they are still a little underdone, they will still continue to bake outside of the oven. You might have to sacrifice one cookie to test for doneness once they have cooled for a few minutes. If they are still gooey in the center, stick them back in the oven for 1-2 minutes. SET THE TIMER TOO!!!
- Although chilling the dough seems like a hassle, it really helps the gluten relax and enhances the soft and buttery texture. Place in the fridge for two hours or up to overnight to allow the dough to chill. This step is very important because it helps the dough to relax and improves the texture. If you are like me and are in a hurry, simply place the logs in the freezer for one hour or then it’s ready to be baked.
How to shape the snickerdoodles
Since we have the cookie dough chilling in a log shape, simply slice the cookie dough slices about an inch wide and roll them in a ball in your hands.
What if my cookies don’t crack on the surface?
It may be hard to tell but the photo of the cookies below had teeny tiny cracks on the surface. Sometimes the cracks are bigger, but sometimes they are really small.
Either way, I would recommend taking them out of the oven right at 8 minutes and letting the rest and testing one cookie out since it’s easy to over-bakes these cookie.
“No joke, these are some of the best cookies I’ve ever had.”
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Bon Appétit Ya’ll,
- 2 sticks butter softened to room temp
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 3/4 cup All purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
Chai Spice Sugar Mixture
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp cardamom whole pods or pre-ground
- 5 TBSP sugar
For the wet ingredients
- Bring the butter to room temperature. With an electric beater or stand mixer, beat the butter and salt for 1-2 minutes until it's the texture of thick mayonnaise. Add the sugar and beat for another 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.
- With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time and the vanilla. Scrape down the bowl to incorporate the eggs.
For the dry ingredients
- Sift the flour and baking powder together. Keep the mixer on low speed and slowing add in the dry ingredients in stages until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl periodically. STOP MIXING as soon as the ingredients are incorporated!
Options for Chilling the Dough
- Press the dough into one long log or two shorter logs and cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least two hours, or up to overnight.
- If you are short on time, you can also freeze the logs for one hour until they are chilled.
For the Chai Spice Sugar Mixture
- While the dough is chilling, grind the cardamom if using whole pods. Remove the seed from the shell and mix with the other spices. Grind together in a mortar and pestle or in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin or the back of a small pan. It's ok if the seeds aren't completely ground.
You can certainly use pre-ground cardamom instead. Mix the remaining 5 Tbsp. sugar with the spices on a plate or bowl and set aside.
- Unwrap the chilled dough and cut into 1-inch slices. Roll into balls and roll into the sugar and spice mixture to coat.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet 3 inches apart.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until they just start to crack on the surface. DON'T OVERBAKE! Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack before serving. If you are unsure if they are set in the middle, open up one cookie after they have cooled a bit. If they are still gooey, put back in the oven for 1 minute at a time. SET A TIMER!!