These chocolate chai shortbread cookies are infused with warm and cozy chai spices and cocoa powder. For an extra treat, fill them with chocolate cream and raspberry jam!
These tasty little shortbread cookies are inspired by two of my favorite warm and cozy winter beverages – hot chocolate and chai lattes. They’re buttery, crisp, and full of chai spices like cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and all-spice. In fact, if you have leftover spices from baking holiday gingerbread, this is a great way to use them up!
These cookies are delicious all by themselves, but for an extra twist, I like to make sandwich cookies filled with Nutella and raspberry jam. This filling goes perfectly with the cocoa and spiced flavor of the cookies themselves.
Ingredients for great chai flavor
Before testing this recipe, I did some research on different chai spices. This delicious spiced tea can be made from a variety of spices, including cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, star anise, nutmeg, pepper, fennel, and more! After reading through a number of recipes, it seemed that cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom were core spices to include.
The first time I tested this recipe, I used cloves and black pepper, but found the cookie tasted too similar to a gingerbread. The next time I used all spice instead. All spice tastes like a mix of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, so I figured I’d still get a bit of clove flavor while also bumping up the cinnamon flavor.
These are the spices you’ll need for the recipe:
Together, you get a warming, slightly spicy flavor with floral notes from the cardamom. It goes nicely with the cocoa powder as well!
Tips to prevent your cookies from spreading in the oven
The key to prevent spreading is to chill, chill, chill your dough! First we’ll chill for 30 min – 1 hour. After the first chill, the dough should be firm and not sticky. This will also make it easier to roll out.
Before baking, we’ll chill again for another 15 minutes. This will help the cookies set up before they hit the heat of the oven.
Other tips for perfect cookies
- Make sure your butter is truly at room temperature. This helps it incorporate smoothly with the other ingredients
- Be creative with your cookie shapes! I like to use my favorite squirrel cookie cutter and use a mini heart cutter for the center. Of course, any standard cookie cutter will work.
- If your dough is cracking when you roll it out, let it thaw for 5 – 10 minutes.
- On the flip side, if your dough is sticking when you roll it out, either chill for another 5 – 10 minutes or flour liberally.
- Use a food scale if you have one, or spoon and level your flour instead of scooping directly from the bag. Scooping from the bag can lead to too much flour, which can make the cookies dry.
Shortbread cookie recipes to try:
- Chocolate & pistachio shortbread sandwich cookies
- Pecan print shortbread cookies
- Tuscan shortbread cookies (rosemary olive oil)
If you make this recipe, please let me know! I’d love to see your chocolate chai cookies. You can comment below or tag me on Instagram @halicopteraway.
Chocolate chai shortbread cookies
- Small mixing bowl
- medium mixing bowl
- Hand or stand mixer
- Baking tray
- Rolling Pin
- Parchment paper
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (150g) all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp all spice
- 3/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 9 tbsp (125g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp (60g) granulated sugar
- 3 – 4 tbsp Nutella or other chocolate spread
- 2 – 3 tbsp Jam of choice (I use raspberry)
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger, all spice, cardamom, and salt until well-combined. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low-medium speed until a dough forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Shape and flatten the dough into a disk and cover with cling wrap. Place in fridge and chill for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper and lightly flour a working surface. Place the chilled dough on the surface and lightly flour the top of the dough. Roll out until about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out cookies and place on the parchment paper. Gather and re-roll the dough scraps until used up.
- Loosely cover the baking tray and place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes. While the cookies are chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake for 10 minutes until firm. Remove and place on wire rack to cool.
- If making sandwich cookies, pipe or spread Nutella around the edge of a completely cooled cookie. Fill the center with jam and cover with a second cookie. Repeat until all cookies are filled.