Combine chai tea spices into chocolate chip cookies to make a delicious and unique dessert for tea lovers! These chai cookies are a great unique chocolate chip cookie recipe to bake, share, and gift.
When it comes to cozy flavors, nothing tops tea! There’s a tea flavor for every season. As soon as the temperature drops, I love to reach for black teas like chai and then use them with abandon! There are a lot of tea recipes on the blog, and now we have one more!
There are also a lot of chocolate chip cookies on the blog. Chocolate chip cookies are a family favorite, and you can never have too many good recipes.
This chai cookie recipe is a particular favorite with my people. In fact, when I make a batch, it’s almost guaranteed another will follow a few days later if the first was shared.
I think this is an excellent time to point out that you can freeze chocolate chip cookie dough for baking on demand. Planning ahead is lovely, darlings.
How to make chai chocolate chip cookies
Unlike my chai pumpkin pie recipe, these cookies are dump, mix and eat! Bake too, I suppose. #TeamCookieDough
The flavor comes from simply cutting a tea bag open and pouring it right into the cookie batter! If you use a loose leaf tea, you’ll need a teaspoon of the leaves.
The chai infuses nicely, with a subtle flavor that doesn’t overpower the cookie dough or the chocolate chips.
In my opinion, the best chocolate chip cookies have a balance between chocolate and dough, with each being something you’d want to eat alone. That way, when you put all the ingredients together, you know you have an extra special cookie!
Since we’ve already talked about flavoring the dough, I’d like to take a minute to talk about chocolate!
You have some flexibility here! I’ve made these cookies with milk, semisweet, and dark chocolate chips and all turn out delicious. Milk chocolate chips will naturally provide a sweeter result than semisweet or dark, so choose according to your audience preferences. If you want, this is also a great time to play with mixing chocolate chip varieties!
For a more rustic look to your cookies, use chocolate baking chunks, super chips (these are bigger than usual), or chop up a chocolate bar. The chocolate bar will pool beautifully as it bakes because there’s no coating to help the chocolate chunks retain their shape.
What kind of chai tea should I use for baking chai cookies?
When you head to the market to buy “chai tea”, you’ll see a few options.
First of all, “chai” is an Indian word for tea. In India, “chai” is black tea. It’s a general term for black tea. Here in the United States though, we think of a specific kind of spiced chai, which is actually called masala chai.
“Masala chai” is black tea with added spices and milk, and that’s what we Westerners typically think of when we look for “chai”. If you’re like me, your first cup of chai tea was a masala chai (a chai tea latte), and that set our definition.
Like coffee in its infinite variations, you’ll also find a ton of options when you go to the grocery store looking for chai. To get this recipe right, you’ll need to pick the right one.
That means that when you head to the store you’ll find: chai tea concentrate in liquid form (keep walking), powdered chai latte mix (keep walking), tea bags or loose leaf tea labeled “chai”. Stop there.
The “chai” tea-flavored bags you buy at the store are what is known as masala chai because spices are added. It’s up to you to add the milk, or not. What you want is a dried tea with masala chai herbs.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Tips
The good thing about this particular chocolate chip cookie recipe is that, while it’s definitely a fancy chocolate chip cookie, the preparation is simple.
There are no extra steps, and the unique twist comes from something most tea drinkers already have in the pantry! Funny story, remember my Earl Grey chocolate chip cookie recipe? The recipe I was going to shoot that day was for a chai chocolate chip cookie. Using tea in baked goods is fabulous.
For the best cookies, make sure you give your butter a bit of time to soften. You don’t want it to be super soft, but you should be able to just poke it with your finger and leave an indent. If you’re short on time, cut the butter into cubes and it will soften in just a few minutes.
Cutting the butter into smaller pieces to soften gives you a more consistent temperature than trying to use the microwave to soften butter but not melt it.
Second, if you can give these cookies a little time to rest before baking, you’ll really get the best of the chai tea flavor.
Like with my olive oil chocolate chip cookies, the cookies are scrumptious when baked straight away. But the full gloriousness of their flavor doesn’t come out until a few hours later when the batter has had time to “steep”.
Aren’t the little flecks of tea just beautiful?
I do hope you love this chai cookie recipe! It’s time for some cozy desserts, so I’ll leave you with the recipe. Enjoy, darlings!
- 16 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 egg
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon chai spice (see notes)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 375 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together for about 30 seconds on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
- Stir in the egg, scrape the sides of the bowl again.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chai spices. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in 3 batches. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Stir in the chocolate chips, then use a medium cookie scoop (about 2 tbsp) to scoop dough onto the prepared baking sheets. *See notes if freezing.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until cookies are starting to turn a light golden brown along the edges, rotating the pans once halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and allow to set on the baking sheet 3-4 minutes before using a spatula to transfer to wire racks for cooling. Eat one slightly warm.
- Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for one week.
- One teaspoon of chai spice is about the contents of a standard tea bag. I just snip open a bag of chai tea blend and pour it into the batter. Easy!
- If you are planning to freeze your dough, place the unbaked dough into the freezer after scooping. Allow the cookies to freeze solid on the baking sheet and then transfer to a plastic bag. Bake from frozen, adjusting the baking time up to 11-13 minutes.
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p.s. – If you try this recipe and love it, please leave me a comment to let me know! Then share it with a friend. <3