Masala Chai Shortbread Recipe

Photograph: Robyn Lee

Swapped at the SE Cookie Swap by James Boo. Adapted from Raspberry Eggplant.

These recipes from our annual Serious Eats Cookie Swap are provided by Serious Eats staff, friends, and family. They have not been tested by our recipe team.

Recipe Facts

Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Chilling Time: 30 mins
Total: 80 mins
Makes: 30 cookies

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  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Leaves from 5 black tea bags (I used Twinings English Breakfast)
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon freshly toasted and ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated cinnamon
  • 1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  1. Sift the flour, salt, tea leaves, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper into a medium bowl.

  2. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture and mix on the lowest speed until just combined.

  3. Transfer the dough to a large sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log about 1 1⁄2” thick. Wrap well and freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for at least an hour. If you want to cut the dough into shapes, form the dough into a disk, wrap well, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

  4. Heat your oven to 325°F and line two baking sheets with parchment or Silpats.

  5. Form the cookies: If you’ve rolled the dough into a log, use a sharp knife to cut it into slices about 3/8” thick, the most important thing being that all the slices are of even thickness. If you’re cutting out the cookies, lightly flour your work surface and roll it out about 3/8” thick and cut out shapes using a cookie cutter. Gently re-roll the scraps and repeat.

  6. Bake until the edges are barely golden, about 15 minutes. Cool the cookies on the sheet completely, then transfer to an airtight container. The cookies last about two weeks at room temperature but will keep longer if you refrigerate or freeze them.