There are flavors and aromas that instantly carry me to an exotic destination. Spices that grace a typical Indian milk tea called Masala Chai is my transporter of choice.
While traveling in India one of my favorite indulgences is a Masala Chia tea drunk at tiny tea stalls everywhere. The delicious warmth of this memorable drink is what inspired this mixture of aromatic spices in a shortbread cookie recipe. Le Pétrin’s blog inspired making the cookies in the shape of teabags.
The beautiful teapot in the picture above was a gift I purchased for my husband while in Jaipur, India. When I presented it to him he said, “Thanks for the bong babe.” I was horrified to learn I purchased a water pipe and not a teapot. I told the shop owner I wanted to purchase a teapot and the only English word he probably understood was pot. Either way, it is now a focal point in my kitchen, and it always evokes good conversation.
I thought I was being clever when I tried to re-engineer a football helmet cookie cutter into the shape of a teabag; it was a waste of time as the bandwidth for channeling Martha Stewart was on overload that day.
If you are like me, I want to get started as fast as possible.
One quick way to bring butter to room temperature is to grate it.
When you finish mixing the dough it will be crumbly. Knead it until the flour is incorporated and dough sticks together when squeezed.
Shape it into a disk and roll out on mat. Cut around teabag template made on card stock. (I loosely traced around a teabag to make this.)
The holes for the teabags are made with a straw before cooking. Once cooled, I dipped the cookies in melted chocolate.
I made the tags on my computer and used embroidery thread for the string. I poked a hole through the tag with a pencil and pushed the thread through. I used sticky tape to hold the string to the tag, then taped both sides together.
Chai Tea Cookies
- 12 ounces unsalted Kerrygold butter at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 ounces chocolate chopped
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and granulated sugar until they are just combined and add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt and spices, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump the crumbly mixture onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll out the dough 1/4-inch thick and cut into teabag shapes with a template. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. Use a straw to poke a hole at the top of each teabag cookie.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow cookies to cool to room temperature.
Fill the bottom of a double boiler with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Add the chopped chocolate to the top of the double boiler, reduce the heat to medium, and stir the chocolate from time to time until it is completely melted. Keep it warm in the double boiler, so it stays liquid.
Dip bottom of cookie in melted chocolate and place on parchment paper to cool.
Total Time:1 hr 15 min |
Prep 20 min - Cook 25 min |
Yield: approximately 24 cookies
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Daisy Shortbread Cookies. If you don’t have a double broiler, click here for melting chocolate instructions.
I took these cookies to the Food Blogger Los Angeles cookie exchange. Check out the links below for all of the fabulous cookie recipes from this great group of cooks.
With my leftover dough, I made Hedgehog cookies.
Quote of the Day:
“Smell is so powerful, you know. My grannies would both bake things like shortbreads and cookies. I think whenever I smell those kinds of things it really takes me back to my childhood.” – Curtis Stone
“Sift exotic spices into any cookie dough, and be transported to a distant land of pleasure.” – Cathy Arkle
…and then, she paused for thought.
FBLA 2013 Cookie Exchange Recipes
- Chai Tea Cookies — Cathy Arkle of She Paused 4 Thought (She also got tired of rolling the dough and refashioned the rest into Baby Hedgehog cookies.)
- Butter Pecan Fudge — Dorothy Reinhold (me!) from Shockingly Delicious.
- Antioxidant Chocolate Bark — Erika Kerekes (our hostess) of In Erika’s Kitchen.
- Sweet Potato Marshmallow Bars with White Chocolate Chips — Jennifer Richmond of Kitchy Cooking.
- Chocolate Chip and Apricot Walnut Rugelach and Vegan Chocolate Mini Cupcakes (“Naughty & Nice Cookies”) — Dana of Foodie Goes Healthy
- Vintage Sponge Drops with Double Fudge Filling — Leslie Macchiarella of Bake This Cake.
- Sicilian Christmas cookies — Judy Lyness of Two Broads Abroad.
- Cranberry Orange Walnut Sugar Cookies — Patricia Rose of Fresh Food in a Flash.
- Brown Butter Praline Chocolate Chip Cookies — Valentina Wein of Cooking On The Weekends.
- Mini Chocolate Nut Sandwich Cookies — Kelly Page of Tasting Page.
- Rosemary Raisin Cocktail Shortbread — Sharon Graves of Cheesy Pennies.
- Saketini Christmas Balls, Chocolate Macarons with Japanese Wine Cream Centers, and Matcha Green Tea Cookies with Chocolate Centers & Espresso Cookies with Caramel Fillings — Kim Watkinson of Ninja Baking.
- Blueberry Coconut Mini Cupcakes, Rainbow Chocolate Bark, and Vegan Gingersnaps — Judy Weintraub of Bumbleberry Breeze.
- Chocolate-Dipped Apricots with Pistachios — Adair Seldon of Lentil Breakdown.
- Spumoni Shortbread — Nancy Rose Eisman of Adventures with Nancy Rose.
- Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cardamom Gingersnap Cookies — Alison Ashton of Nourish Network .
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Oat Bars — Alanna Waldron of Eats Real Food.
- Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies — Tanaya Ghosh of Tanaya’s Table. (Tanaya’s Table, the blog, will launch in 2014.)
- Black and White Cookies — Tina Kil. (Her blog isn’t up yet, but watch for her contributions in the future!)
- Chiang Mai Chicken in Endive Spears — Cathy Arkle of She Paused 4 Thought.
- Seasonal salad — Nancy Rose Eisman of Adventures with Nancy Rose.
- Barrel-Aged Sazerac — Jennifer Richmond of Kitchy Cooking.
Cathy, the teabag cookies are very clever! And they sound delicious. Always so creative…
Thanks Susan! They were a lot of work but so much fun.
Fresh Food in a Flash
You are so clever and creative. Always inspired by you! I took home two of these beauties and I can’t bring myself to eat them, as they are show pieces. I also got one hedgehog, which will sit proudly on my Christmas cookie platter. I just hope no one eats him. He’s so cute!
Thanks Patricia, so glad they made people smile. I think we should shellac them so we can keep them for next year. 🙂
Dana @ FoodieGoesHealthy
Sometimes cute things look better than they taste, but not in this case. These are a double winner: adorable and delicious. We enjoyed ours. So for all you FBLAers who are staring at the cuteness, dig in! Great job Cathy… and funny story too.
Thanks Dana, I appreciate your kind words. Hard to compete with your naughty and nice cookie display. I enjoyed being, I mean eating both. 🙂
Wonderful! Bet you had a ball making these. Keep up the good work.
Thanks Nan, they were a labor of love.
These cookies were the bong at the cookie swap (hedgehogs came in second). Simply brilliant!
Hedgehogs coming up next. So glad you enjoyed them both.
Lynne @ CookandBeMerry
Your creativity is truly inspiring. And delicious looking. Nice work. Happy Holidays!
Happy Holidays to you too Lynne. Thanks for stopping by.
Oh “Martha” I think the teabags are fabulous! GREG
Thanks Greg. I receive your compliment. 😉
Valentina Kenney (@cookingweekends)
These are wonderful! A labor of love! And they were delicious!
Thanks Valentina, a true compliment coming from such a great cook as yourself!
Simply brilliant. And beyond delicious.
Thanks Sharon. I loved your Rosemary Raisin Cocktail Shortbread! I am making them for a Christmas eve party.
These are impressive!
Thanks Alison! I loved your Cardamom Gingersnap Cookies!
Amazing maybe an overused word but aptly describes your lovely Chai cookies, Cathy…I’m intrigued by your travels in India and would love to read more about your experiences. Love the story about the mistaken tea pot!
Thanks Kim! I am trying to incorporate more of my travels in my blog. I will work on more India inspired blogs in 2014. We should exchange travel stories.
Nancy Rose Eisman
Cathy, these were even better looking and better tasting in person. If there was a blue ribbon, these cookies would be the winner.
Thanks Nancy, I really appreciate your comment. 🙂
Adorable AND delicious. The chai flavor really pulled through! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Alanna! So glad you enjoyed them.
Who needs Martha when we’ve got Cathy! And we can just pretend the bong is a teapot! This is a terrific post and I’m so glad I actually got to eat a teabag cookie- you were right on with the spices. Meanwhile, little hedgehog cookie is still peering at me and Joel- we can’t eat him just yet because we love him him with us… what to do! Your creativity inspires me!
LOL! You can make you own Baby Hedgehog Cookies as I just posted that one.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea and your teapot story is hilarious! Your photos are gorgeous as always, and I’m just so bummed I didn’t get to sample these and your hedgehog cookies at the swap! 🙁
Cathy | ShePaused4Thought
Thanks Christina, you were missed at the cookie swap.
You have brought up very good details, thank you for the post.