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Spice Up Your Life With Chai

Spice Up Your Life With Chai

November 18, 2010
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A couple of years ago, my parents traveled to Chennai, India as part of a volunteer program. While visiting, they were introduced to many new things and aspects of Indian culture – from the generosity of the Indian people to their death-defying approach to traffic. But the most recurring theme? “Chai.”

In Hindi and several other local languages, the word chai simply means “tea” – though the most common is a combination of tea and rich spices, sweetener and milk. In India, sharing tea is a sign of hospitality, and regardless of how little you have, you serve chai to your guests. This new experience impacted my parents. Already tea lovers, they returned from their travels and incorporated the sharing of chai tea when providing hospitality.

Because chai spices bring back many memories for them, I knew these Glazed Chai Shortbread Cookies would be a perfect treat to share.

To begin preparing your own Glazed Chai Shortbread Cookies, you’ll start by making the dough. This dough needs to be refrigerated before baking so it firms up and is easy to cut. For this reason, you’ll either want to prepare the dough when you have some time to come back to it, or you can do what I did and prepare the dough the day before.

Begin by beating together the butter, brown sugar and vanilla. Scrape the bowl often to make sure all the ingredients get thoroughly combined.


I mix all of my spices together – the pumpkin pie spice, ginger, allspice and cardamom and the salt – to make sure they get evenly distributed. Then add the spice mixture to the batter.


Along with the spices, add the flour.


My dough was a little dry. If yours seems that way too, add about a tablespoon of milk.  It should soften up and be easier to press together.


Now it’s time to refrigerate. Divide the dough evenly into thirds. If you’re going to be really impressive (like the recipe calls for), you can shape the logs into six-inch-long rectangles. I wasn’t quite so picky. Wrap the dough logs in plastic food wrap, then stick them in the fridge for at least an hour so the dough can firm up.


When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Then remove your dough from the fridge. Use a sharp knife to slice ¼ slices off the dough log (my slices may have been a little generous).


Place the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and put them in the oven. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes until the edges begin to brown.


In the meantime, prep your glaze. Add vanilla to powdered sugar, and then add a little water. I made a half batch of glaze since I was only baking one portion of dough. I started with about a tablespoon of water and that was about perfect.


When the consistency is good for drizzling, you’re ready to go.


Once the cookies are baked, let them cool for a few minutes on the sheet. Then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to completely cool.


When the cookies were totally cooled, I moved them to waxed paper for drizzling. It worked out really well and made for easy clean up.


If you have decorator’s sugar, you can sprinkle that on some or all of your cookies for a festive touch.


Finally, it’s time to enjoy your spice-laden Glazed Chai Shortbread Cookies with a mug of hot tea or coffee!


Try these Glazed Chai Shortbread cookies for yourself, then rate and review the recipe.

Come back in a few days when Mallory will share a side dish for Thanksgiving that is sure to please!

Amanda is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.

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