These soft and chewy Chocolate Chai Snickerdoodles are packed with perfectly spiced chai masala flavor and dark chocolate. Not overly sweet, these are the perfect pairing for a cup of tea or coffee on a brisk day.
These cookies are really something special, and quite unique. It's a standard snickerdoodle cookie, with dark chocolate cocoa powder added and is packed with a warm and spicy (in the best way) chai masala. This is fall/winter in a cookie and it is SO comforting!
This idea actually came about from a coffee shop my sister and I used to frequent back in high school. We would always go get a chocolate chai latte after our lifting sessions at the gym and it was just the best! I wanted to recreate it into a cookie, and here we are. Have you ever had the snickerdoodle hot chocolate at Starbucks? It tastes like that, but with a spicy chai masala flavor.
This super chewy chocolate snickerdoodle has slightly crisp edges and a center that is oh so soft. As you chew, you get hit with the dark chocolate flavor, followed by the prominent notes of the chai masala - the ginger and black pepper specifically.
The cookie is not overly sweet, which is a nice change in a cookie, and would be perfect as a wee breakfast treat on a cold day.
Ingredients for the spicy chocolate snickerdoodles
- All-purpose flour. Standard flour for the base of the cookie. Take care not to overmeasure - I suggest using a digital scale for this.
- Cocoa powder. The recipe calls for Dutch Processed Cocoa. In most grocery stores, you'll want to look for Hershey's Dark Cocoa. I use Rodelle Dutch Processed Cocoa, it's my favorite.
- Cream of tartar. This is what makes it a snickerdoodle!
- Baking soda. To get a bit of extra rise on the cookies.
- Chai masala spice blend. See below on how to make your own, but I have recently started purchasing Pur Chai Masala Blend and it is perfect.
- Unsalted butter. Room temperature - not too soft & not too cold. Check my Butter 101 post if you're unsure of a correct room temperature!
- Granulated sugar. For the cookie dough and also to roll the cookies in prior to baking.
- Light brown sugar. Just gives a bit of extra depth and chew to the cookies.
- Large eggs. Just one, and at room temperature.
Chai masala powder recipe
The chai masala is a huge component to this recipe. Do not try to blend up chai tea bags, I attempted this with the recipe and it was not a good situation. I use the Pur Chai Masala Spice Blend - it's truly a good (and affordable) investment, especially if you are a frequent masala chai drinker. You can also buy it and use it for my Pumpkin Chai Tiramisu.
However, if you'd prefer to make your own, here's what you'll need: spice grinder, green cardamom, black peppercorn, ground ginger, whole cloves, mace, nutmeg, star anise. Head over to Masala and Chai to find the full recipe on how to make your own chai spice blend. Note that masala actually means spice blend...chai masala is a spice blend and masala chai is a spiced tea. My girl Shweta (Masala and Chai above) helped me to understand this!
How to make the Chocolate Chai Snickerdoodles from scratch
To make the masala chai cookie recipe, start by whisking together the dry ingredients in a bowl: all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
Next, cream together the butter, sugars, and chai spice together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about three minutes on medium speed.
Scrape down the sides, then add the room temperature egg and mix to combine for about a minute. Scrape the sides once more, then turn the mixer to low speed and spoon in the dry ingredients until it is just combined and barely any flour remains.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for one hour. This not only helps the flavor to permeate through the dough, but it also allows the butter to firm up a bit so the cookies don't spread too much while baking.
Want to turn these into double chocolate chai snickerdoodles? Add ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips after the dry ingredients have been incorporated.
Want to turn these into chocolate dirty chai snickerdoodles? Add 1-2 teaspoons of espresso powder to the dry ingredients.
These are both awesome variations to consider!
Assembling the chocolate snickerdoodles
Once the dough has chilled in the fridge for one hour, prep everything you'll need to assemble the cookies.
Preheat the oven to 350℉/177℃ and prepare two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Also add the ¼ cup of granulated sugar to a bowl, and grab a two-tablespoon sized cookie scoop.
Scoop ~40g scoops (two tablespoons) of the dough, roll in between your hands into a smooth ball, then coat completely in the sugar. Place on the prepared cookie sheets so they are evenly spread out. I add six to each baking sheet.
Bake the cookies in the center rack of the oven (switching pans/racks at half) for 11-13 minutes until the edges are set and they still look slightly puffy. Remove from the oven and bang each pan on the counter a few times.
Then, use a round object (cookie cutter, empty sour cream container, etc.) to circle around the cookies to make them completely round. This step is completely optional, but who doesn't love a round cookie? Watch how I "scoot" my cookies.
Then, allow them to cool for about two minutes before carefully transferring the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Storing the snickerdoodles
Store the Chocolate Chai Snickerdoodles in a sealed container for two days. They will get a bit softer, then will turn crumbly and fall apart by day three. These are best enjoyed the day they are made.
Freezing the snickerdoodles
If you'd like to freeze the cookies, scoop and roll the cookies, then flash freeze the balls on a cookie sheet for about 30 minutes. Add to a ziptop bag and store for up to three months.
Prior to baking, roll the dough balls in sugar, then place on a prepared cookie sheet and bake from frozen at 325℉/163℃ for about 15 minutes, again banging the pan when removed. Note that they will be slightly puffier when baked from frozen.
Frequently asked snickerdoodle questions
In theory, you can substitute 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder for the cream of tartar listed in the recipe. I have not tested this and I do I recommend following the recipe as written. But, this would be the substitution in a pinch.
First thing, check your flour measurements! Be sure not to over-measure the flour in these cookies and use a digital scale for accuracy. This can also often happen when too much air is incorporated - sometimes using a hand mixer can do this, as the speeds can be higher than a stand mixer.
Looking for more cookies?
Chocolate Chai Cookies
- Stand mixer with paddle attachment, or handheld mixer
- 2 inch cookie scoop
- Two large baking sheets
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour 150g
- ¼ cup cocoa powder dutch processed (30g)
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar 3g
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ or 1 tablespoon chai masala spice blend 3g or 6g (see note)
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature (113g)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar 67g
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar 67g
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar 50g
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt) and set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), cream together the butter, chai masala blend and sugars for 3 minutes on medium speed.
- Scrape down the sides, add the egg, and mix on medium speed for another minute. Scrape down the sides once more.
- With the mixer running on low speed, spoon in the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Place the dough in the fridge (covered) for one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350℉/177℃ and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Add the granulated sugar to a bowl.
- Make ~2 tablespoon sized balls (or ~40g), rolling in between your hands, then roll through the sugar.
- Evenly space the cookies on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 11-13 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and bang the pan on the counter a few times, then place on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes.
- Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling, then enjoy.