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Vanilla-Chai Icebox Shortbread Cookies

Vanilla-Chai icebox Shortbread Cookies

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.

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 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

Icing

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • More vanilla bean seed scrapings, if desired
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, sift or whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, allspice and cardamom; set aside.
  2. Combine butter, sugar, honey and salt in a bowl. Using an electric mixer or wooden spoon, beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beat until smooth.
  4. 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.
  5. Add in flour-spice mixture, 1 cup at a time, blending until fully incorporated.
  6. 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.
  7. Chill logs for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  8. Heat oven to 350 degrees F with an oven rack in the middle.
  9. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  10. With a sharp knife, cut logs into 1/8-inch-thick slices and arrange 1/2 inch apart on baking sheets.
  11. Bake until lightly browned around edges, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  12. Transfer to racks to cool.
  13. 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.
  14. Arrange cookies as close together as possible on sheets of wax paper and drizzle icing decoratively across the tops.
  15. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Recipe and photo credit (used with permission): Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin

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