Pumpkin Chai Cookies

Pumpkin Chai Cookies_small

My husband often jokes that all you ever have to do to get me to try a recipe is put “chai” in the title. I love anything chai — something about the unique combination of Indian spices just hits the sweet spot on my palate. I was planning to make my regular pumpkin cookies for a teacher luncheon this week, but got a 2am-can’t-sleep bright idea to infuse the glaze with chai tea.

For once, I’m so glad I couldn’t sleep. The chai infusion was a very good idea.

These are a perfect fall cookie. I prefer them small — if you make them too big they don’t flatten as well and sort of look like scones. Be aware that, like most pumpkin cookies, these are soft and tender — don’t expect a crunch from these babies.

And whatever you do, don’t skip the chai glaze!

I prefer to keep these cookies on the small side, so yield the tablespoon measurement carefully. If they’re too big, they kind of puff up like a scone.

Pumpkin Chai Cookies

Pumpkin Chai Cookies


2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), softened

1 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup of pumpkin purée

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract


1 tbsp melted butter

3 tbsp milk

1 chai tea bag

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups of confectioners sugar


Preheat your oven to 350°. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Beat in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla until creamy, then mix in dry ingredients until well-combined.

Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes. When ready, drop level tablespoon-sized balls (note: this is not very big) of dough onto a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake cookies for 11–14 minutes, or until they begin to have just a hint of golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and cool completely before glazing.

For the icing: Melt butter in a saucepan and add milk. Steep chai tea bag in the liquid for 5 minutes, then discard. Stir in vanilla. Add liquid to confectioners sugar and mix until a smooth icing forms (add additional milk if needed to thin). Drizzle cookies with glaze.

Store cookies in a single layer or they'll stick together. I leave them right on the counter and just lightly cover with foil overnight.

yield: around 3 dozen


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