Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dirty Chai Cookies (★ ★ ★ ★ ☆)


I've got a secret.

Okay, I'm not really sure how "secret" it is.  But I've got some information.  And this information has the potential to rock your world. 

But for this to really pack the punch, I must first set the scene.

It's kind of like those episodes of How I Met Your Mother that open up with something completely outrageous and then back up and break it down.  (How totally great are those?)

I love Starbucks. 
Well, actually I love lattes.  Alright, let's break it waaayy down.  I. Love. Foam.

It's like velvety, creamy, whipped goodness.  
But there is good foam and then there is bad foam.
Bad foam is airy, bubbly, runny, flat.
Good foam is like meringue.  Seductive.  Delicious.  A dollop of heaven along with your daily caffeine.

My fondness for Starbucks then doesn't come from the atmosphere or quality, but from the sheer convenience.  It's the new McDonald's.  There is one on every corner.  No other business in the world offers me so many chances to grab coffee and frothy steamed milk. 

Well played, Starbucks, you have earned my respect...and my heart.
Instant Chai Latte Mix, Chai Tea, Instant Espresso, 60% Dark Chocolate Chips

I enjoy all things latte.  I enjoy such things to the extent that I volunteer (as in--for free) at our church cafe several times a month.  The best perk?  Free coffee...all the time.  Win. Win. Win. Win. Win.  

It took me months upon months before I was able to produce the kind of fantastic foam that could meet my unrealistic standards.  If I wasn't impressed, it didn't get served.  Okay, so that basically meant I refused to make drinks, but how can you fault me?  Inferior foam is in an offensive league all its own.  

Once I got that hurdle behind me, it opened up a whole new world of experimentation.  And experiment I did. 

I will try anything.  Edible.  I will try anything edible.  Let me clarify.  Don't get crazy. 

I have a cafe "partner in crime" and together we came up with some doozies including the Cherry Vanilla Latte and my personal fav the Tapatio Latte (the experience - because the taste was just horrendous).

One day, a light bulb went on in my head:

"*Bling* Omg, I know how to fix everything that is wrong with the Chai Latte! Add some shots of espresso!"

My genius lasted all of two seconds.  Because well #1) pretty much everyone loves Chai Lattes, but me. I don't get it.  It's like spicy watery milk and #2) the "Dirty Chai" already exists.  Even Starbucks carries it.  (Yes, the "dirty" part refers to the color of the espresso.  Geeze people!). 

Nevertheless, these are so good I'll let it slide that someone invented it before me.  No biggie.  Heck, I'll even let it slide that Starbucks can make fantastic Christmas-in-a-cup-goodness and yet they keep it on their SECRET menu!  Starbucks, how could you?!

And when it's iced....oh, don't even get me started.
So when a friend of mine asked if I would bake something for the dessert bar at her wedding, I jumped right on that.  I knew we both liked chai.  In fact, she was there the night I came up with my brilliant-idea-that-already-existed-but-nobody-deemed-important-enough-to-tell-me-so-I-had-to-figure-it-out-on-my-own-and-then-not-even-get-to-take-the-credit-for-it.

But I've let that go.  

So the question was: How could I make a dirty chai cookie?

Once I found these Chai Latte Cookies, I knew I had my inspiration.

I added extra straight up from a tea bag (the spicier the better),
Switched out the buttercream for an espresso ganache,
And boom...
I present to you: The Dirty Chai Cookie.
Dirty Chai Cookies

Chai Cookies:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar + 1/4 cup for rolling
  • 2 packets instant chai latte powder (1/3 cup)
  • 2 tsp chai tea
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Whipped Espresso Ganache:

  • 10oz semi sweet chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp instant espresso

1) Preheat oven to 375F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2) In a medium sized bowl, beat butter, sugar, chai latte powder, and chai tea (I used Tazo.  Just cut
    open the bag and measure!) until fluffy.
3) Add vanilla and egg.  Beat until well mixed.
4) In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt together.
5) Add flour mixture to sugar mixture a little bit at a time until thoroughly combined.
6) Pour 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl.  Take a small amounts of dough and roll it into a tiny balls -
    approx. 1/2 inch.  (Seriously, with these think super small. Remember you are going to add another
    cookie plus ganache).  Toss into sugar bowl and place on cookie sheet an inch apart.
7) Very gently press the flat bottom of a glass onto the top of each dough ball.  You just want to flatten
    the top slightly, you don't want increase the diameter of the ball.
8) Bake for 8 minutes or until dry to touch.  Makes approx. 40 cookies.

A) Set aside chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
B) In small saucepan, heat cream just until boiling.
C) Add espresso powder to cream and stir until dissolved.
D) Pour cream over chocolate chips and stir until melted and thoroughly combined.
E) Let ganache cool to room temperature.  With a hand mixer beat until slightly fluffy.  Be careful not  
     to over beat.  Mixture will become like chocolate butter and be very difficult to spread.  (Tip: if
     needed to help with the whipping process place bowl in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Be
     careful as ganache gets very firm once chilled and will be extremely difficult to spread.)

Spread a small amount of ganache onto one chai cookie half.  Top with another.  If cookies will not be eaten right away they should be refrigerated, but ganache will hold up as long as not in direct heat.
And they were delish!  This dough is to die for. 

Today photos by: ME!!!  And my new DIY lightbox!

These were Featured:



  1. I'm so intrigued by these cookies!
    They look wonderful and I've never tasted chai cookies. I know I love chai tea so I'm very curious.
    I just hope I can find here chai powder

    1. I love chai tea too! The original recipe just called for the chai latte powder, but I love strong tea so that's why I added some straight from a tea bag. They were crazy good!

      As for the latte powder, I had the worst time trying to find it. I finally found some at Whole Foods. If you have trouble it might be easier to find a plain latte powder and just add extra chai tea.

  2. See I do LOVE Chai! I don't drink very often, because I always need coffee! I think these little cookie sandwiches are perfect! I think they might be a Christmas cookie addition this year!

    1. I love a cup of plain - strong - chai tea. But I agree, I miss the coffee! Putting them together is genius.

      These are perfect for Christmas time. Especially, the chai cookie part. If you don't want to whip up ganache, you can just have them with your morning coffee. :)

  3. I'm obsessed with Starbucks too! There's one connected to my apartment so they get a big chunk of my paycheck each week! My husband loves the Tazo Chai tea. I'll have to give these a try... I'm pinning it for sure. Stopping by from the "Back for Seconds Social" - I'm with

    1. There are some apartments by my work that have a Starbucks connected to it. I always fantasize about moving there someday. :)

  4. Oooh... a cookie with chai spices! 'Gotta try this one! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

    1. I bake a lot of things, but I'm really picky and only "sort of" like most of the stuff I make. I have to say this is one of my top favs. Love this cookie dough, it's fantastic. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. My daughter's in love with Chai tea, so I'm pinning this to make it for her. Thanks for visiting my blog, and I'm following you, too! I think your comments are as entertaining as your desserts look delicious.

    1. Aw, thanks! And these are probably on my top 5 list of things I made last year. I am just waiting for the opportunity to whip these up again. I don't even know if I'd do the ganache because the cookies were that amazing by themselves.

  6. Ohhh these cookies sound so good!!! I love how you used the chai flavors in this, what a fabulous idea!!! They look delicious!

    1. Thanks Maria! These were really good. Such a great flavor.

  7. Wow, wow, wow. Love these cookies. I adore chai and coffee so they are right up my alley. Saw them on Show me your plaid. Would love for you to link them to Thursdays Treasures which will open Wednesday at 8pm.

    1. Thanks for the high compliment Christie! I've love to link up this week!

  8. I am almost afraid to make these. All I need is one more good cookie. Well, maybe I will pin for later. :)

    1. Oh, make them! Make them! Then wrap the rest up and bring them to work, your neighbors, some firefighters! See it's a win-win!

  9. I love chai, too! I bet the cookies are amazing! They sure do look like it!

    1. Thanks! And they are...ridiculously good!

  10. These sound delicious! I love Stash Double Chai tea. It is my favorite drink. So, these cookies would be a perfect side treat. I saw you at Tasty Tuesdays. I hope you'll come share at my weekly party:

    1. Thanks! My favorite tea is Bigelow Vanilla Chai, but I used Tazo for these cookies. I'll link up to your party this weekend.

  11. Oh.My.Goodness. I dont pin a lot anymore becuse I have a new born and whats the point of pinning all these ideas that I wont get a chance to do/make. BUT- mamma is making an exception for these- I will FIND the time to make them! Thanks! (found you through the works for me blog carnival- cute blog!)

    1. Aw, Thanks so much!! I'll say these are one of my favorite things I've ever made. So good.

  12. I love Chai!!! Thanks for linking on Tasty Tuesdays! I am one of the co-hosts this month and I love this recipe!!!

    1. Well, thanks so much! I love this recipe too!! :)

  13. These cookies look very soft & indulgent! :) I'm not a big chai fan, but I'd be terempted to try these! Thank you so much for linking up with me this week at Tasty Tuesdays! I’ve pinned this & shared it with my followers! Please be sure to stop back by the party and check out some of the other links!

    1. Thanks Anyonita! If you don't like chai, I would skip the chai tea grounds and just stick with the chai latte powder. That will help keep the spice down. :)

  14. These look awesome! Found them through the Plaid Kitchen! I would love for you to link them up at my link party that starts on Friday!

    Have a great day!

    1. Thanks so much Rebecca! I'll be sure to stop on by and link these up.

  15. I LOVE chai! Going to have to give these cookies a try. :)

  16. I think I've found my new favorite food blog! These cookies sound and look fabulous, and I featured them on Friday Finds today. (They're also a popular repin on my Pinterest.) I'm looking forward to browsing through your blog soon. Thanks, and I hope you have a great weekend!

    1. Oh my goodness, that is the sweetest thing I've heard all week! Thank you so much! I'll be sure to grab your button and post it here. :) Stay tuned for another new post coming this week!

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