When I was making tandoori-style chicken sandwiches the other night, I kept thinking it would be nice to have some chai cookies to go along with it.
I had just been over to Rebecca Johnson’s house for a tea party—a chai tea party, because she is the founder of Chaibecca, a boutique chai company here in Colorado—and so I had four gorgeous samples of chai tea just dying to be enjoyed.
So (after brewing myself a cuppa) of course, I hit Pinterest. But I didn’t see anything that looked exactly right.
I ended up concocting these cookies by combining a couple of different recipes. The cookies are soft and fluffy; cakey, not crispy. I used Chaibecca’s vanilla bean chai for the frosting, and it was delicious. Overall, they’re quite spicy and complex. A very sophisticated little cookie with a very silly name.
These are, of course perfect with a hot (or cold!) cup of chai. Here is Rebecca’s recipe for the perfect cup:
In a saucepan add 1 cup of water, 1 cup of whole milk, 1 Tbsp of Chaibecca and 1 Tbsp sugar. Bring mixture to a boil, immediately remove from the heat, and let steep for 1 minute. Strain and enjoy.
|Whoopie Chais (or Chai Whoopie Pies)||
- 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- dash black pepper (to taste)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 5 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 T, 1-½ tsp flour
- ½ cups milk
- 1 T loose chai tea
- ½ teaspoons vanilla
- ½ cups butter
- ½ cups granulated sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, black pepper, and salt. Set aside.
- Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat for about three minutes until well combined. Alternate adding the buttermilk and the flour mixture to the butter, starting and ending with the flour. Add the vanilla and beat on medium until smooth.
- Spoon batter into a zip-top bag, snip off the corner, and pipe out cookies onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, leaving about two inches of space between each cookie.
- Bake for about twelve minutes. Allow to cool completely while you make the chai frosting.
- FOR FROSTING: In a small saucepan, combine milk and tea and heat; when milk is simmering, sprinkle flour over the milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla.
- While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then add the completely cooled milk and flour mixture and beat until it all combines and resembles whipped cream—about 8–10 minutes.
- Assemble whoopie pies by piping or spreading frosting onto the bottom of one cookie and topping with another cookie (bottom to bottom). Store in the refrigerator between sheets of waxed paper.
If you want, you can strain the loose tea from the milk for a smoother frosting; I left it and enjoyed the texture and look of it.
These are best the day they are baked.