Taylor Swift has never let me down, whether she’s dropping an album or sharing some words of wisdom during a commencement address — and her baking recipes are apparently no exception. (Seriously, is there anything she can’t do?) When I saw Swift’s chai sugar cookie recipe resurface on TikTok recently, I knew I had to track it down, and I was rewarded with a Tumblr post from Swift herself, which was not Only perfectly written and instructive, but also packed with personality and even a few sly Swiftie references.
To make these cookies, Swift follows a basic sugar cookie recipe from Joy the Baker, then adds a bag’s worth of chai tea leaves right before the flour gets incorporated. The cookies are delicious and full of vanilla on their own, but the chai adds so much flavor and depth. Then, chill and bake as instructed — the dough is quite sticky to work with at first, so I recommend a minimum of one hour for chilling. If you like softer cookies, take them out of the oven just as they’re set and before the edges start to brown. I waited for brown edges on mine and my cookies turned out crispy on the outside, and soft in the middle. Let the cookies chill, or eat a few while they’re delicious and warm, and then it’s time to glaze them!
Swift recommends an eggnog-inspired glaze that’s made with milk (or eggnog, if you can find it), nutmeg, and cinnamon. Even when made with milk, the eggnog flavor is spot-on thanks to the nutmeg in the icing. For a less seasonal spin, and to bring out more of that chai flavor, I also tested out a version of the glaze with chai tea leaves in place of the spices. It was delicious and certainly upped the chai factor, but every once in a while, my tooth would catch on a larger-than-average tea leaf, so that’s something to consider. If you’re in the mood for a simpler glaze, you could also follow Swift’s recipe and just leave the nutmeg and cinnamon out. Keep reading for the full recipe.
If you really want to punch up the chai flavor in these cookies, you could add two bags of chai tea to the dough, or replace the spices in the glaze with chai tea leaves.
- For the cookies:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus additional for sugaring tops
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean
1 bag chai tea leaves
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
- For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons milk or eggnog
- Using a stand mixer or electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for about a minute, until it’s light and fluffy.
- Add the oil and mix again on medium speed until at least mostly incorporated. The butter and oil might not fully combine and that’s OK.
- Add the granulated sugar, powdered sugar, egg, and vanilla, and mix again.
- Add one bag of chai tea leaves to the bowl and mix.
- Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low until fully combined.
- The dough will be very soft, so chill for at least an hour before baking.
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Shape the cookies into balls of dough that are 1-2 tablespoons large, and sprinkle sugar on top of them. Bake for 8-12 minutes, depending on size. For softer cookies, remove from the oven before the edges start to brown.
- Let the cookies cool, then combine the ingredients for the glaze, and top with glaze and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Desserts, Cookies
- 2 dozen cookies
- Total Time
- 19 minutes, 59 seconds
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kaley Rohlinger