I’d like to take a moment to talk to you about a serious addiction I had many, many years ago. Absurd amounts of money went towards supporting my habit. I would indulge at least once—and sometimes twice—a day. I’d sneak away during lunch breaks to get a fix. I even tried to drag my friends and co-workers into my world of obsession.
My addiction: Starbucks Pumpkin Chai Lattes. I know everyone is all about the pumpkin espresso lattes as soon as fall hits, but I’m telling you, pumpkin chai lattes are where it’s at. Imagine drinking a warm cup of extra-spicy pumpkin panna cotta—it’s that good. I’m going to stop myself right here before I go full throttle on the latte love, because this post is about cookies, not lattes!
Point is, I’ve become quite the coffee and tea snob since I moved to Vermont a few years ago. I turn my nose up at coffee that isn’t roasted locally. I want nothing to do with chai that comes from a box. I know, I know—groan if you must, but it’s an unavoidable side effect of having a barista brother who also roasts coffee at a local shop, and a boyfriend who manages the café at another. (I even feel the need to put the acute accent on the “e” in “café”—it’s that bad.) If it’s any consolation, I still load my coffee up with cream and sugar, so there’s hope that I may not become completely insufferable!
Wait, am I still not talking about cookies? The real point is, I still crave that delicious pumpkin and chai combination. And if it works in drinks, it must work in baked goods as well, no? Yes. The answer is definitely “yes!”
I chose a more cake-like cookie for this recipe because it reminded me of the iced apple cookies my mother makes. And they are indeed very, very similar—in both texture and deliciousness. Just a warning: the icing can be a bit intense when it covers the entire top of the cookies. So if you like something that’s slightly less sweet, I’d suggest drizzling the icing over top, rather than dipping the cookie directly into it.
Chai-Iced Pumpkin Cookies
(adapted from Allrecipes)
yield: around 3 dozen
- 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup of butter (1 stick), softened
- 1 ½ cups of sugar
- 1 cup of pumpkin purée
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups of confectionery sugar
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 chai tea bag
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 sugar. Beat in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla until creamy, then mix in dry ingredients until well-combined.
If you batter seems a bit soft, stick it in the fridge for about half an hour (I had to do this). When ready, drop tablespoons of batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake cookies for 15–20 minutes, or until they begin to have just a hint of golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and cool complete before frosting.
For the icing: Melt butter in a saucepan and add milk. Steep chai tea bag in the liquid for 5 minutes, then discard. Combine together with sugar, vanilla, and milk, and mix until a smooth icing forms.
Dip the cookies if you have a real sweet tooth, or drizzle the icing over top with a fork if you’d like to dial it back a little. Try to avoid immediately packing a ton of them into a bag in order to deliver them to a friend, like I did. (Big tasty mess!)