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 cardamom
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
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
More vanilla bean seed scrapings, if desired
1 tablespoon water
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.
Heat 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.