Aaaaaand it’s the second week of September! How did we even get here, friends? Soon we’ll be cozied up in thick sweaters and blankets. sipping on pumpkin-spiced drinks and hot chocolate. Autumn is slowly creeping upon us. And what better way to ease ourselves into the season than with these chai-spiced chocolate chunk cookies?
Do you remember your first time tasting chai?
I remember mine. It wasn’t anything fancy. I bought myself a chai latte from Dunkin Donuts, and instantly I was hooked. I’d never tasted anything like it. Such an interesting mix of flavors and spices…what can I say, it was love at first sip?
If you’re a lover of all things chai, all things chocolate, and all things cookies, then this recipe is most definitely for you! These cookies are so decadent and rich, with crispy edges, a tender center, and goeey chocolate in EVERY. SINGLE. BITE.
Plus, you don’t even have to worry about hunting down chai powder, because we’re saving time and money by making our own!
The birth of chai-spiced chocolate chunk cookies
Soooo, hear me out. I’ve been testing cookie recipes for a loooooong time now, but none of them ever really impressed me. They were either too dry, too sweet, or too bland. But there’s something special about these cookies that I really think you guys will enjoy. Leave these cookies out for Santa and he’ll definitely take your name off the naughty list (is it too early for Christmas talk? What is time, even?)
Chai chocolate cookies will become a staple in your home, especially with the holiday season right around the corner!
How to make your own homemade chai powder
Can’t find chai powder anywhere? Don’t worry, because it’s easy as hell to make your own! All you’ll need is six ground spices that are most likely already sitting in your pantry:
- All Spice
This lovely homemade chai powder recipe belongs to Jess over at Plays Well with Butter. Here’s a link to her page: https://playswellwithbutter.com/homemade-chai-spice-mix-recipe/.
I’ve cut her recipe down to make a much smaller amount. You’ll still have some leftover, so save that for whenever you’re in the mood for a DIY chai latte. This chai powder mix is good for up to a year!
How to brown butter for chai-spiced chocolate chunk cookies
Brown butter is an essential part of this recipe. It’s part of what gives these cookies their bold, rich, and nutty flavor. Using brown butter in place of plain melted butter is one of the best ways to instantly upgrade a dessert recipe.
If you’ve never made brown butter before (or even heard of it), don’t be intimidated. It’s a simple process that just requires caution and attention. If you walk away from your sauce pan, you may find that your precious butter has burned, and that’s no fun, So keep your eyes peeled. Below is a simple explanation of the brown-butter process:
- Cut unsalted butter into cubes (it’s easier to cut when cold). Let the butter rest outside the fridge for 20-30 minutes, so it can soften up a bit.
- Add the softened butter cubes to a light-colored sauce pan. Set the stove to medium heat. The butter will begin to melt; stir gently.
- As you continue to stir, the butter will begin to sizzle and foam. It will slowly get darker and darker. Soon, little golden brown specks of fat will appear at the bottom of the sauce pan. Stir a bit more, and watch as the butter goes from dark yellow to golden brown. It will smell very nutty, rich, and strong.
- Immediately transfer the brown butter to a heat-safe container. If you leave it in the hot sauce pan, it will burn.
Essential cookie-making tips
In my Lemon Coconut Pancakes for Two recipe, I call myself a pancake-making veteran. I think it’s fair to say I’m kind of a cookie-making veteran too.
I’ve tried a BUNCH of chocolate chip cookie recipes, and read a BUNCH of food articles on how to make the perfect cookie. I’ve made greasy cookies, flat cookies, dry cookies, burnt cookies…it’s been a journey. Y’all know I love to share my baking fails with you guys, because, in every blunder, there’s a lesson to be learned.
Want to make a thick, chewy, picture-perfect cookie? Here’s what you should know:
- Measure your flour correctly: This is a must for practically every dessert you’ll ever make. Use either a digital scale or the scoop and level method for accurate flour measuring.
- Bread flour: For ultra chewy cookies, use bread flour and never look back!
- Use the right sugar combination: If you prefer a moister, chewier cookie, use more brown sugar than granulated sugar. If you want a crispier cookie, use more granulated sugar. Here, we’re using a combination of both sugars to yield crispy edges and a tender center.
- Handle the dough gently: When you add the flour to the creamed sugar/butter mixture, fold it in until it’s just combined. Then stop.
- Chill the dough: Chilling the dough prevents greasy, flat cookies that spread too much. This recipe calls for a 1 hour chilling time.
- Do not overbake: Bake just until the edges are golden, then remove from the oven. The centers will look slightly underdone, but that’s okay because the cookies will continue to cook as they cool.
Chocolate chips vs Chocolate Chunks
Ever ate a cookie and thought “Wow, there was NOT enough chocolate chips in there?” Doesn’t that just suck?
If you like tasting chocolate in every bite of a cookie, opt for using chocolate chunks instead of regular chocolate chips. Nestle Tollhouse makes chocolate chunks, but they’re hard to find in stores. The solution? Take a semi-sweet chocolate baking bar and cut it into chunks yourself!
Other recipes you may like…
Chai-Spiced Chocolate Chunk Cookies
For the chai powder mix
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon all spice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the cookie dough
- 2 cups (240g) bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons homemade chai powder mix
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter melted until browned
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 egg yolk room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into chunks plus more for topping
- Begin by making the brown butter. Add cubes of unsalted butter to a light-colored sauce pan on medium heat. Stir and cook until golden brown specks of fat appear at the bottom of the pan, and the butter has turned a golden brown color. It will smell very nutty and rich. Transfer immediately to a heat-proof container and set aside to cool.
- While butter cools, make chai powder mix by adding the spices to a small bowl. Mix together with a fork.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the chai powder mix,, and baking soda. Whisk until combined. In a large mixing bowl, use a spatula to cream together the salt, brown butter, sugars, and vanilla extract. Next, beat in one egg, then one egg yolk, until the mixture is smooth, with little ribbons falling off the spatula when the spatula is lifted. The mixture will be slightly thick, and a rich brown color.
- Add flour little by little, about 1/3 cup at a time, to the butter-sugar mixture, folding gently with the spatula until just combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chunks. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Once the dough has chilled for an hour, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove dough from the refrigerator and allow it to soften for about 5 minutes. Grease a sheet pan with butter and line with parchment paper. Use a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon to drop balls of cookie dough onto the sheet pan, leaving about 3 inches of space between each one. If desired, press a small chunk of semi-sweet chocolate on top of the dough balls.
- Bake for about 14 minutes, rotating the pan half way through. The edges of the cookies should be golden brown, while the centers are soft and look slightly underdone. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the pan for about 3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Serve warm.
- While the cookies are baking, return the remaining cookie dough to the fridge so that it doesn’t get too warm.
- Adapted from the “Best Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies” recipe on AllRecipes.com
- Wrap leftover cookies in plastic wrap. Store at room temperature for up to two days, or freeze for up to three months.