Chai Sugar Cookies
Updated: Jun 21
In celebration of attending the Era's Tour at Metlife Stadium on May 27th, it only seemed fitting to make the infamous Taylor Swift Chai Sugar Cookies.
Okay, so concert talk first then cookies? Glad we are on the same page. (And just in case you are only here for the cookies, jump to the recipe!)
The concert was a truly amazing experience. My sister and I are still pinching ourselves, ensuring the night was real and not just a figment of our imagination. We attended the May 27th show at Metlife Stadium, and the day was perfect, from (shockingly) travel to the weather to the company and the entire experience.
It isn't lost on us how lucky we were to get tickets, let alone how grateful we were to be there. It was Ashley and my 3rd Taylor Swift concert (previously attended the Red Tour and the 1989 Tour), but it was Joe's first show and definitely one for the books he got to experience.
I am still in a "Lavender Haze" from that night and probably could make a whole blog about the show, with pictures and videos, but being that you technically came in for a cookie recipe, I will reframe myself and just let you know you can find more on my personal Instagram or our TikTok profile.
Now, for the cookies:
Taylor's Version uses spices and butter and all-purpose gluten flour. I made a couple of test batches, before finalizing my allergy-friendly gluten-free spiced version below.
In one of my test batches, I used chai itself and ground it up with a mortar and pestle. This way created a MUCH stronger chai flavor, so I only recommend doing this if you really and truly LOVE the taste of chai. I also recommend making sure your ground it up entirely or else you will be left with chunks of chai in your cookie. If you do it this way, skip all the spices in the recipe and just add 1 tablespoon and ½ teaspoon of the grounded chai blend.
The next I made was gluten-free batches, that were also free from dairy and nutmeg. I did one gluten-free batch using the grounded chai and the other using the spices. Personally, I liked the spice blend better, which is what I ended up with in the finalized version of this recipe.
Additionally, I used two types of cookie scoops: a medium-sized scoop and a large-sized scoop. For the gluten-free version, I suggest using a small or medium-sized cookie scoop. When using the larger scoop on the gluten-free dough, the cookies tended to be more crumbly and break apart easier. Meanwhile, they held together better with the small and medium-sized cookie scoops.
Alternative ingredients you can use:
Palm Shortening can be equally replaced with ½ cup or 1 stick of butter, dairy-free or regular.
Sunflower oil can be equally replaced with any vegetable oil you have at home, such as vegetable, canola, safflower, or even olive. I just suggest using a lighter.
Date sugar can be equally replaced with ½ cup sugar of your choice, such as coconut or cane.
As mentioned above, you can skip all the spices in the recipe and just add 1 tablespoon and ½ teaspoon of the grounded chai blend. I used a mortar and pestle to ground up my chai.
If using [the gluten] all-purpose flour, then use ¾ teaspoon of baking soda instead of only the ½ teaspoon the recipe calls for and eliminate the cream of tartar ingredient. Cream of tartar is only for the gluten-free all-purpose flour, to help bound and give more structure to the cookies.
If you aren't allergic to corn, you can use whatever powdered sugar you like. For us corn-free folks, I recommend Wholesome's Powdered Sugar.
Chai Sugar Cookies
For the Cookies:
½ cup palm shortening
½ cup sunflower oil
½ cup date sugar
½ cup corn-free powdered sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of fresh cracked black pepper
1 large egg
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean pod
2 cups all-purpose flour or all-purpose gluten-free flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Cinnamon and sugar (cane or date) mixture for rolling
For the Glaze:
1 ½ cups corn-free powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling the top of the cookies
3 tablespoons dairy-free milk
Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the palm shortening in a large bowl on medium speed for about 1 minute.
Add the sunflower oil - It may not fully incorporate with the shortening, but that is okay.
Add the date sugar, powdered sugar, and all of the spices. Beat to combine.
Add the egg and vanilla, beating on medium speed until completely incorporated.
Stir in the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt all at once using a wooden spoon or the mixer set on low until the softened dough begins to form.
Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour or freeze for 15 minutes just so it’s easier to handle.
In the meantime, mix together the sugar and cinnamon mixture for rolling.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Once the dough is chilled, using a small to medium-sized cookie scoop, scoop the dough and release it into the palm of your hand. Handling delicately, roll the dough into the sugar and cinnamon mixture before carefully placing it on the prepared baking sheet. Keep the dough about 2 inches apart. If wanted, you can lightly press the dough evenly with your fingers or palm to about ¼-inch thickness.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes for larger cookies or 8 to 10 minutes for smaller cookies. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients to be thick but spreadable. Spread each cooled cookie with glaze just over the center, leaving the edges of the cookie free of glaze. Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon, if you would like. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.