These Masala Chai Shortbread Cookies are speckled with aromatic ground masala chai tea. The spices will instantly warm you, so they are gonna be a perfect treat for a cold day.
The weather has gotten colder now and drinking masala chai has been my new routine. There is just something special about delicious warm chai spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger. It is a bit sweet, savory, and spicy with a little essence of aromatic chai combined with spices. It is literally the ultimate drink to warm your body.
So, when brainstorming for the new cookie recipe, I naturally turned to my current favorite beverage masala chai. Shortbread cookies are the perfect base since they are made with just a few simple ingredients only. The base tastes neutral, so the tea flavor can taste strong here. To incorporate the masala chai with the cookies, the tea is grounded and added to the flour mixture so that you can taste the tea flavor in every bite.
Masala chai may be an unusual recipe flavor, but you will be impressed with the outcome. These crisp, tender and buttery Masala Chai Shortbread Cookies will instantly warm you, especially when you pair them with a cup of masala chai drink. Of course, they go equally well with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. I hope your guys enjoy this Indian twist to the classic shortbread and give it a try this season.
What is Masala Chai?
Masala means a mixture of spices in Hindi. Meanwhile, chai comes from Chinese word chá meaning tea. Therefore, masala chai literally means spiced tea. Masala chai is a beverage from India made by boiling black tea in milk and water with a mixture of aromatic herbs and spices. In America, masala chai also refers to chai latte or chai tea latte. However, to say chai tea literally means tea-tea.
Spices in Masala Chai
The base for masala chai is a strong black tea such as Assam tea. Then, it is spiced with different proportions of warming spices. One thing is for certain that every single person in India probably has their own unique combination of spices they prefer in their masala chai and there is no one right way. It can be very subjective.
These are the five spices that are essential to make masala chai:
- Green Cardamom. This is one of the dominant flavors in masala chai. It’s intensely fragrant with sharp vegetal notes of green spice and pepper, with a warming bite that is smoky and earthy. This is the one spice you cannot skip when making chai at home.
- Cloves. Some might consider cloves optional, but they work so well with the other spices here, playing up the sweetness of cinnamon and the spice of the black pepper while perfuming the whole pot of tea.
- Cinnamon. Cinnamon is one of the sweeter spices used for flavoring chai.
- Ginger. This will flavor the tea with a fresher spice note.
- Black Peppercorns. This everyday spice cannot be skipped when making chai; it gives the brew the heat that blooms on the back of our throats and balances the chai’s sweetness.
The Best Tea For Making Masala Chai Shortbread Cookies
To make these cookies, I usually prefer using masala chai loose leaf tea. The loose leaf tea tastes much more flavorful and smells more aromatic. I usually don’t bother with making them by myself because the spices can be pretty expensive when you buy them separately, especially if they are sold in bulk.
If you are not planning to buy or make the loose leaf tea, you can alternatively make your own blend with ground spices. They are usually sold in small bottles, which are pretty convenient to use as you will need just a little for each spice.
More Shortbread Cookie Recipes
Do you love shortbread cookies? Try out also these flavors!
- Matcha Shortbread Cookies
- Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies
- Zebra-Striped Shortbread Cookies
- Zebra-Striped Matcha Shortbread Cookies
- Cherry Blossom Shortbread Cookies