These chai snickerdoodles pair the thick, chewy texture of perfect snickerdoodle cookies with a delicious blend of spices for the best-tasting snickerdoodle cookies you will ever bake! Plus there's no need to chill the dough before baking, making it quick and easy to whip up a batch of this chai snickerdoodle recipe!
There are certain must-haves when baking a batch of snickerdoodles, and perfect texture is at the top of that list! Snickerdoodles should be soft, chewy, and thick. It takes the perfect ratio of ingredients to get that incredible texture, and this recipe gets it right.
Another must have: that cinnamon-sugar topping! Here we'll spice it up (see what I did there?) by adding ginger, cardamom, cloves, allspice, and black pepper to the mix. While chai spices are not a must for snickerdoodles, trust me when I tell you that these chai snickerdoodles, baked with a blend of spices for a deliciously balanced chai flavor, are 10x tastier than the classic cinnamon sugar variety!
Best of all, these are no-chill cookies, so there's no need to chill the cookie dough before baking. In fact, this recipe is really quick and easy, which means you can get these cookies into your oven (and your mouth!) in a flash.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
In addition to the essentials - flour, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla - this recipe includes a variety of ground spices: cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, allspice, and black pepper. All of these spices work together to create a distinctive and delightful chai flavor, and they can be found in the baking section of your local grocery store.
Another ingredient of note is cream of tartar. It may seem strange to add cream of tartar to cookie dough, but this multi-purpose ingredient is what makes a snickerdoodle a snickerdoodle! Check out the recipe FAQs below to learn more about the role that cream of tartar plays when baking snickerdoodle cookies and my recommended ingredient substitute for making snickerdoodle cookies without cream of tartar.
Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
- Mix the spiced sugar topping. In a small bowl, whisk together the spiced sugar topping ingredients. Set aside.
- Make the cookie dough. In a medium bowl, add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and spices. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer), beat butter on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add both sugars and beat until combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add egg and vanilla and beat on high speed until blended. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl as needed while mixing.
- With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add flour mixture just until combined.
- Using a 1 ½ Tablespoon cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop 1 ½ Tablespoon-sized balls of cookie dough. Use your hands to roll the cookies into tall balls (slightly oblong, not quite spheres), then roll each ball into the bowl of spiced sugar topping.
- Place the tall balls of cookie dough standing up on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until cookies puff up and edges become slightly golden. Let the cookies cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Snickerdoodles taste similar to a sugar cookies, though they have a slightly tangy flavor thanks to the cream of tartar in the cookie dough. Traditionally they have a pronounced cinnamon flavor, with cinnamon in the dough plus a cinnamon sugar coating. This chai snickerdoodle cookie recipe elevated the spice flavor by including a mixture of chai spices in both the cookie dough and the sugar coating.
Cream of tartar is key to baking snickerdoodle cookies. First, its acidity activates the baking soda, which allows the cookies to rise as they bake. Second, it inhibits sugar crystals from forming in the cookie dough, which leads to a chewy cookie. And third, it gives snickerdoodles their signature tang, which complements the spiced sugar coating perfectly.
Craving snickerdoodles but don't have any cream of tartar on hand? Here's a hack for making snickerdoodles without cream of tartar: omit both the cream of tartar and the baking soda and replace them with 2 teaspoons of baking powder. The resulting cookies will be slightly softer and have less crinkled tops compared to cookies made with cream of tartar and baking soda, but they will still be delicious!
Yes! Both cookie dough and baked cookies freeze well when properly wrapped and sealed before freezing. Be sure to check out my tips for freezing cookie dough and baked cookies.
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