Vanilla-Chai Icebox Shortbread Cookies
Chai, a sweetened Indian-spiced tea, has become a coffeehouse favorite, and its warming flavors of cardamom and ginger offer a delicious update to a traditional holiday spice blend. Butter helps carry the aromatic flavors of Chai, developing a tasty, crisp shortbread cookie.
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 medium vanilla bean
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- More vanilla bean seed scrapings, if desired
- 1 tablespoon water
- In a large bowl, sift or whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, allspice and cardamom; set aside.
- Combine butter, sugar, honey and salt in a bowl. Using an electric mixer or wooden spoon, beat until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beat until smooth.
- Using a small knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise in half. Scrape the seeds from both sides of the pod with the tip of the knife and add them to the butter-sugar mixture. Beat to combine.
- Add in flour-spice mixture, 1 cup at a time, blending until fully incorporated.
- Divide the dough in half and transfer each half to a sheet of wax paper. Using the wax paper, shape into a 12-inch log, rectangle or square.
- Chill logs for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F with an oven rack in the middle.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- With a sharp knife, cut logs into 1/8-inch-thick slices and arrange 1/2 inch apart on baking sheets.
- Bake until lightly browned around edges, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Transfer to racks to cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk together icing ingredients until smooth and transfer to a sealable plastic bag. Cut a 1/8-inch opening in one corner of bag.
- Arrange cookies as close together as possible on sheets of wax paper and drizzle icing decoratively across the tops.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Yield: 3 dozen cookies
Recipe and photo used with permission from:
Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin