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Ginger Chai Spice Cookies

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Cookies are my favorite thing about the holidays. I love to bake them and share them with friends and family. This year I almost didn’t get around to the holiday baking though. Since we spend Thanksgiving and the two following weeks in India, it didn’t even feel like the holidays to me.


When we finally got back home, I had a lot of work to catch up on and our sleep cycles were completely opposite from the jetlag (a 13.5 hour time difference for three weeks will do that to you!). The only thing I wanted to do was sleep. Baking was the last thing on my mind.

Then suddenly I felt better and inspiration struck, it was three days before Christmas, but better late than never!

And since India is still very much on my mind, I wanted to make cookies that remind me of our trip but are still festive enough for the holidays. I decided to make a ginger chai masala cookie and decorate it in the traditional wedding mehndi style.

It was wedding season while we were in India and that means that there were a lot of mehndi (henna) painted hands. I had a chance to get my hands painted as well! Seriously, I would walk around with my hands and feet permanently painted with mehndi if I could.


Ginger Chai Spice Cookies

Spice cookies with an Indian twist
4.50 from 4 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting time 2 hours
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Servings 36 cookies
Calories 88 kcal


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp dried ground ginger
  • 2 tsp chai masala
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup packed and grated jaggery or substitute more brown sugar
  • 1 egg large
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp amaretto optional, use 2 tbsp milk if you skip
  • 1 tbsp milk


  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices.
  • In a large bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar, milk, amaretto and egg until well blended.
  • Add jaggery, vanilla and fresh ginger and beat until well mixed.
  • Slowly mix in dry ingredients until well mixed and smooth.
  • Divide dough into half and set aside at room temperature for 2-4 hours. Refrigerate if setting aside for longer.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment.
  • Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick.
  • Cut out cookies into circles or desired shape.
  • Space 1 inch apart and bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-10 minutes.
  • Cool on wire rack.
  • Ice with Royal icing.


Calories: 88kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 46mgPotassium: 42mgSugar: 7gVitamin A: 65IUCalcium: 18mgIron: 0.6mg
Keyword holiday cookies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. The cookies look lovely!! Will surely make them sometime! The henna designs look beautiful as well. I really enjoy reading your blog.

  2. Hi – These looked so pretty so I was excited to try making these today. I am not a baker so could use some tips. We got jaggery powder from the Indian spice store and used that instead of fresh. Not sure if that was the issue but unfortunately, these cookies turned rock hard right after cooling. I tried 6, 7 and 8 minutes at 375. Is the butter supposed to be room temperature at the beginning? (mine was). My royal icing work looked nothing like this – could you share some suggestions on how you got such fine lines? Thank you!

    1. Try reducing the temperature, I reduced it to 340f and cooked it for 12 mins. My single cookie was around 13 grams and 1/4 inch thick. Take them out of the oven whilst still a little soft on the top. Let them stay on the tray for 2-3 mins and then transfer them to the cooling rack. Hopefully, my tips work for you.

    1. Hi Pragya! Try substituting the egg for two tablespoons of water and one tablespoon of oil. It should work pretty well. I haven’t tested it for this exact recipe but I’ve done it for similar ones. Let me know if you try it!

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