Iced Chai Oatmeal Cookies
Spiced, soft, and chewy, Iced Chai Oatmeal Cookies bring all the cozy feels! A slick of vanilla icing makes them look snowcapped. Plus, a bevy of chai spices brings warm flavors.
Indian tea, or chai in Hindi, is a mix of black tea and spices steeped together in hot milk and hot water. Spices used include a mix-and-match combination of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and black pepper. For chai purists, only whole spices or freshly ground spices will do. Sugar or jaggery, a type of unrefined cane sugar, sweetens the tea.
This popular way of making tea jumped the Pacific from India to America in the 1990s. Once Starbucks introduced its version, called chai tea latte, chai became popular with coffee and tea drinkers. You can order a chai latte (with steamed milk), dirty chai (with steamed milk and espresso), or vanilla chai (with vanilla syrup) in just about any coffee shop today.
In this cookie recipe, a mix of preground spices, widely available in grocery stores, give it chai flavor. In addition to white and brown sugar, molasses is the stand-in for jaggery. The result is a sweet and spicy, moreish treat.
Like spiced cookies? You will also like gingerbread cookies with rum-butter glaze!
- If you made or have a chai spice blend (without sugar), you can sub in 4 teaspoons of it for the spices listed in the recipe.
- Freezing the dough for later use? Scoop the dough balls and freeze on a baking sheet in the freezer. Once frozen, place the balls in a ziploc bag and seal until ready to bake. No need to thaw the dough, just bake for an additional minute or two.
- Don’t be afraid of the black pepper! It adds a tiny bit of heat and floral notes to the flavor.
- 2 cups rolled quick oats
- 1 ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
- 12 Tbsp butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup unsulphured molasses
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp milk
- Blitz the oats in a blender or food processor for 10-ish pulses. The texture will be a mix of large and small oat pieces. Pour oats into a bowl and add the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper. Whisk together and set aside.
- Dump the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar into a bowl and cream together with a mixer (use the paddle attachment if using a stand mixer). Mix for 2 minutes on medium speed or until uniform in color and cohesive. Scrape down the sides with a silicone spatula.
- Add the egg and molasses and beat together until combined, about 2 minutes. Tip in the oat mixture and mix on low speed until no dry spots remain in the dough. The dough will be thick and slightly stiff. Cover and refrigerate for 30-ish minutes. If you are making this in advance, the dough is good in the fridge for 4 days or shaped into ball and frozen for 3 months.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F/177C. Position the oven racks to the two central slots. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Portion out 1 ½ tablespoons of cookie dough per cookie using a #40 cookie scoop or spoon. Plonk the dough balls 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for 12-ish minutes, swapping the sheets halfway through the cooking time. Cookie edges will be set and lightly brown with centers set but soft. Once out of the oven, allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5-ish minutes before transferring to cool on wire racks.
- While cookies cool, make the icing. Whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. The icing will be thick but able to be stirred with a spoon. Dip the top of a cookie into the icing and set on a wire rack to dry. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Icing will set in a couple of hours but you certainly don’t have to wait that long to eat them.
Keywords: iced chai oatmeal cookies