Soft, chewy, and coated in creamy white chocolate, these White Chocolate Chai Butter Cookies are full of warm flavors like brown butter, cinnamon, clove, ginger, and more! These cookies give classic snickerdoodles a run for their money!
Recipe By Leidi Rodriguez
I‘ve mentioned my dislike for coffee on the blog before. It’s not that I don’t get why folks love it, I do! I can even get down with coffee flavored desserts. It’s just that I don’t particularly need the extra caffeine and I’d almost always prefer a cup of tea.
Lately, I’ve been upping my tea game and I’ve even discovered a new favorite: chai. Full of aromatic spices, chai tea is incredibly flavorful and revitalizing. I was so inspired after my first cup that I came up with this recipe!
White Chocolate Chai Butter Cookies are this season’s BEST dessert, gift, or any time of day snack! Similar to a snickerdoodle in texture, with the flavors of a cup of hot chai tea and nutty brown butter, and a thick coating of smooth white chocolate, this cookie is absolutely epic.
Pull up with your cup of coffee or tea and enjoy a couple of these with me, won’t you?
How to Make Brown Butter
Brown butter is heat-treated butter that allows the milk solids in the butter to caramelize. It’s known for a deep amber, light brown color and a noticeable nutty scent.
I use brown butter to elevate my dessert recipes and add dimension to my food with minimal effort. It takes only a few extra minutes, and is almost foolproof.
Here’s how you do it:
- Place your butter in a small non-stick saucepan and turn the heat to medium-high.
- Once the butter has begun to melt, stir it with a wooden or silicone spoon. A whisk will also work just fine.
- Allow the butter to keep cooking. First, the butter will begin to bubble and then a foam will form at the top. Next, a nutty scent will start to waft up and there will be tiny brown bits floating to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the butter to a heat-safe bowl and allow it to cool completely before using.
TIP: When browning butter for the first time, it’s important to keep your eye on it. Use your senses, and smell the butter. Use a light colored saucepan so you can see the color. It should be a deep caramel color. If you’re unsure, err on the side of a lighter caramel as brown butter can easily burn.
Chai Cookie Dough
Now that you know how to make brown butter, let’s get into these cookies! Brown butter is the base flavor for this recipe; it’s flavorful, fragrant, and, above all, fantastic. From there, I added in all the classic spices you’d find in a cup of warm chai tea: cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, allspice, and black pepper.
Each individual spice is invigorating and unique, perfect additions to a simple yet slightly complex base. Once it all comes together, you’ll notice the unbelievable smell. I’ve even considered carrying a bit of dough in my pocket as a bit of perfume. Too much? Probably.
Why Use Cream of Tartar?
The texture and taste of this cookie is similar to that of a snickerdoodle. Traditionally, snickerdoodle recipes use cream of tartar as a stabilizer, but here it’s used to create a soft texture and add a slight tangy flavor to the dough.
Tip: If you do not have cream of tartar at home, replace it with fresh baking powder. The main ingredient in baking powder is actually cream of tartar!
The White Chocolate Dip
Y’all, I could eat these cookies all on their own. The dough is that good! But, what makes each of these extra special is the coating of spiced sugar. For this recipe, I took the classic cinnamon sugar and made it my own by adding warm, zesty ginger.
To top everything off, I’ve dipped each cookie in creamy, decadent white chocolate. I mean, a little extra indulgence never killed anyone right? White chocolate adds a layer of delicious flavor and texture that takes these cookies to the next level.
Storing Leftover Chai Butter Cookies
Stored properly, these cookies should last for up to 5 days at room temperature. Keep any leftovers sealed tightly in an airtight container or ziploc storage bag. If you live in a warm, or humid environment, I’d recommend storing the cookies in the fridge to prevent the chocolate from melting.
Alternatively, you can bake the dough as needed and freeze the rest for up to 6 months. When ready to eat, defrost overnight in the fridge or at room temperature for about an hour. Roll the dough in Cinnamon-Ginger Sugar, bake as directed, and dip in chocolate!
I would not recommend freezing the baked cookies after they have been dipped in chocolate.
Best Holiday Cookie Recipes
Cookie season is coming around the corner and I’m more than ready! Bring on all the butter and sugar you got! After you’d tried this incredible recipe, give a few more of my FAVORITE cookies a try:
- White Chocolate Ginger cookies
- Dark Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
- Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies
- Eggnog Iced Butter Cookies
- Key Lime Pie Cookies
- Chai Brown Butter Snickerdoodles
White Chocolate Chai Butter Cookies
For the Brown Butter Chai Cookie Dough
- 1 cup unsalted butter divided
- 3 cups all purpose flour sifted
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- pinch of ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
For the White Dipping Chocolate
- 2 cups white chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
For the Cinnamon and Ginger Sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2-1 tsp ground ginger
For the Brown Butter Chai Cookie Dough
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 stick of butter. Continue to melt, constantly stirring, until the butter starts to foam up and darken. The butter will start to smell nutty and brown specks will begin to form at the bottom. Remove the brown butter from the heat, transfer it to a bowl, and allow it to completely cool.
- Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, allspice, and black pepper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a large bowl and a hand mixer, combine the remaining stick of butter, sugar, and cooled brown butter. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the egg and vanilla, then continue to beat on medium speed until fully incorporated.
- Begin to gradually add in the flour mixture, taking breaks to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. Do not over mix.
- Roll the dough into 1-2” balls and line them up on the baking sheets. Transfer to the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until firm around the edges but cracked and soft in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for 5 minutes before moving them over to a wire rack. Allow them to cool completely.
- Bake the cookies in batches. If baking more than one batch in a row, make space in between racks in the oven and rotate the pans halfway through.
- Combine white chocolate chips and oil in a small glass bowl. Microwave at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.
- Dip cookies halfway into the white chocolate and lay on parchment paper or silicone pan liners to set.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and ginger.
- Once the white chocolate is mostly set, dip the cookies (the white chocolate half) into the sugar and set them back down on the baking sheet.
- Allow the cookies to completely set, about 15 minutes, and enjoy!
Stored properly, these cookies should last for up to 5 days at room temperature. Keep any leftovers sealed tightly in an airtight container or ziploc storage bag. If you live in a warm, or humid environment, I’d recommend storing the cookies in the fridge to prevent the chocolate from melting. Alternatively, you can bake the dough as needed and freeze the rest for up to 6 months. When ready to eat, defrost overnight in the fridge or at room temperature for about an hour. Roll the dough in Cinnamon-Ginger Sugar, bake as directed, and dip in chocolate! I would not recommend freezing the baked cookies after they have been dipped in chocolate.