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chai snickerdoodles

chai snickerdoodles on a sheet pan

Ingredients

for the cookie dough:

  • 345g flour (2⅔ cups)
  • 7g cream of tartar (1½ teaspoons)
  • 3g baking soda (½ teaspoon)
  • 227g unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 300g granulated sugar (1½ cups)
  • 4g finely ground* black tea (from 2 bags)
  • 6g salt (1 teaspoon)
  • 100g eggs (2 large), at room temperature
  • 10g vanilla extract (2 teaspoons)

for rolling:

  • 60g granulated sugar (¼ cup)
  • 5g ground cardamom (2 teaspoons)
  • 8g finely ground black tea (from 4 bags)

Instructions

  1. Sift together the flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Place the butter, sugar, black tea, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large mixing bowl to use with hand-held beaters). Mix on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until it becomes noticeably lighter and fluffier.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time with the mixer running on medium, pausing to scrape down the sides between each one. Add the vanilla. Once it smooths out, stop the mixer.
  4. Scrape down the sides again, add the flour mixture, and mix on low speed, stopping once it comes together and there are no dry patches. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and give it a couple folds to make sure it’s homogenous. Let it rest** in the fridge for 30 minutes, up to 48 hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C] while your dough chills, and line a few sheet pans with parchment.
  6. Mix together the sugar, cardamom, and black tea in a small mixing bowl.
  7. Scoop a 20g blob of cookie dough (1 heaping tablespoon), roll it around generously in the spiced sugar, roll it between your hands to make sure it adheres, roll it around in the sugar again, and roll it between your hands again.*** Move to the parchment-lined pan, and repeat with the remaining cookie dough. Leave 3 inches [7.5cm] gaps between them.
  8. Bake for about 12 minutes****, and slide the parchment out of the pans so they can cool on the parchment right on the counter.

Notes

* Use a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle to grind the tea. Feel free to use decaffeinated tea.

** If you’re in a rush, you can get away with skipping the rest, since chilling is not the primary goal of resting the dough here (they will still bake perfectly well without chilling). That being said, pretty much all cookie doughs benefit from resting. A refrigerated siesta allows the sugar and flour to hydrate, and results in very lovely (i.e., less grainy) texture. Thirty minutes is kind of a bare minimum, but if you’ve got time, feel free to let them rest even longer. Or if you absolutely must have at least a few snickerdoodles right away, try chilling at least half the dough to bake the next day, and see if you notice a difference.

*** At this point, you can place them on a parchment lined sheet pan (with just a tiny bit of room between each one), freeze the sheet pan, and then throw the frozen dough balls into a plastic bag in the freezer for longer term storage (if you’d like). You can bake right from frozen—just give them an extra minute or two.

**** Keep an eye on them. Twelve minutes in my calibrated oven works perfectly for cookies that are chewy in the center and crisp around the edges, but yours might differ. If you like crunchier cookies, go for another minute or two.