Chai, a sweetened Indian-spiced tea, has become a coffeehouse favorite, and its
warming flavors of cardamom and ginger offer a delicious update to a traditional
holiday spice blend. Butter helps carry the aromatic flavors of Chai, developing
a tasty, crisp shortbread cookie.
2 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
1 medium vanilla bean
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
pure vanilla extract
More vanilla bean seed scrapings, if desired
In a large bowl, sift or whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, allspice
and cardamom; set aside.
Combine butter, sugar, honey and salt in a bowl. Using an electric mixer or wooden
spoon, beat until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beat until smooth.
Using a small knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise in half. Scrape the seeds
from both sides of the pod with the tip of the knife and add them to the butter-sugar
mixture. Beat to combine.
Add in flour-spice mixture, 1 cup at a time, blending until fully incorporated.
Divide the dough in half and transfer each half to a sheet of wax paper. Using
the wax paper, shape into a 12-inch log, rectangle or square.
Chill logs for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with an oven rack in the middle.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
With a sharp knife, cut logs into 1/8-inch-thick slices and arrange 1/2 inch
apart on baking sheets.
Bake until lightly browned around edges, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Transfer to racks to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together icing ingredients until smooth and transfer to
a sealable plastic bag. Cut a 1/8-inch opening in one corner of bag.
Arrange cookies as close together as possible on sheets of wax paper and drizzle
icing decoratively across the tops.
Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Yield: 3 dozen cookies
Reprinted with permission from
the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.