The taste of fall with every bite, these apple chai cookies are aromatic and light. They are delicious and buttery shortbread cookies with just the right amount of fruit, tea, and spices.
Okay, so I know it’s not fall yet. However, I couldn’t help myself! I love doing so many different variations of my shortbread cookie base, and I was determined to use apples with them. Now that I think about it, I think I now have a shortbread cookie recipe for every season! Obviously we have this Apple Chai cookies for fall, then I have Orange Cranberry for winter, Earl Grey with Lemon for spring, and Key Lime for summer. And good for any season, you can try my Chocolate Chip shortbread cookies 😉
So, confession time. I’ve had a burning determination to use apples in cookies. I’ve tried and failed many times previously because apples put too much moisture in cookies. Depending on what cookies you make, any unnecessary additional moisture can cause them to fall apart, or not crisp up enough. What I did differently for these apple chai cookies is that I made sure to pat dry the apples between two layers of paper towels. The other thing that makes a lot of difference, and a step you definitely cannot skip, is chilling the cookie dough for at least 6 hours. For my other shortbread cookies, I normally chill for a minimum of 2 hours, but for something like this that has fresh fruit, it’s best to chill for longer.
As for the golden raisins, if you don’t have those on hand, feel free to substitute with regular raisins instead. I like to use golden raisins because they are fruitier than the regular ones. They’re also less sweet, so they add a more nuanced flavor to baked goods.
If you want to make things easier for yourself, I recommend making my masala chai mix. The reason why I suggest that is because you can use the mix for a lot of other things, and it stores really well. You can use it for making carrot cake, chai cupcakes, or a nice hot cup of chai tea latte! However, if you really think you’re not going to be able to use it for anything else, you can totally just create an ad hoc spice mix just for these apple chai cookies. For the servings indicated in the recipe, you will need to mix:
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- a pinch of nutmeg
- a pinch of cloves
- a pinch of allspice
These cookies can last up to 3 days. If you’re planning on making the dough ahead of time and not bake it all at once, you can freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months.
Tools you’ll need
- 255 g (~1 cup) cold salted butter*, cut into little cubes
- 95 g (~1/2 cup) white sugar
- 60 g (~1/4 cup, packed) brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 black tea bags (I prefer using either Assam or English breakfast)
- 320 g (~2 cups + 3 tbsp) all-purpose flour
- 80 g (~1/2 cup) golden raisins
- 109 g (~3/4 cups) diced Granny Smith apples
- 2 tsp of my masala chai mix, OR you can combine 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cardamom, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp black pepper, a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of cloves, a pinch of allspice
- Lay your diced apples evenly on a paper towel, put another paper towel on top, and press down to try and get the moisture out as much as possible. Set aside.
- Beat the butter, sugars, vanilla using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on medium high until light and floofy (yes, I said floofy) at least 5 minutes. Add the black tea and your chai spices and mix again.
- Scrape the side of the mixing bowl as needed. Put the mixer on low and slowly add the flour. Mix just until the flour is fully incorporated.
- Carefully mix in the golden raisins and the diced apples.
- Take the dough out and form into a log shape on top of a plastic wrap. Diameter should be about 2 - 2.5 inches.**
- Wrap it tight in the plastic! Put in the fridge to chill for 6 hours. (I know. Brutal.)
- About 10 minutes before the 6 hours are up, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Take your dough out from the fridge and slice into about 1/2-inch thick discs. If you have some that fall apart, just squish it back together.
- Place them on top of a parchment-lined baking sheet, about an inch apart. Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
- Cool them for at least 10 minutes before trying to dig in. Since the apples add moisture to the shortbread cookies, they will be a bit fragile right out of the oven.
*If you don't have salted butter on hand, you can use unsalted butter and just add 1/2 tsp of salt.
**If you want to be a little extra, or if you're a little OCD (like me) and want perfectly round discs that are all the same size, try rolling them out instead of using the log method. When you take your dough from the mixing bowl, instead of shaping it into a log, you can place it between two parchment papers and roll it until it's about 1/2-inch thick all throughout before chilling. Then once chilled, take a round cookie cutter (or a cup or glass or anything with a round opening about 2-2.5 inches in diameter) and cut out your discs that way.
// ON THE SCENE
- Back backdrop: Replica Surfaces — Concrete
- Bottom backdrop: Replica Surfaces — White Wood
- Props: galvanized steel tray, apple, jar of golden raisins
These look beautiful! I love that you have a recipe for these for each season. Your point about apples and their effect on baking is interesting; I never knew that! Great post, Dee! 😀
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