Okay. Full disclosure time. These cookies are not my best work. Somehow they were still pretty popular at the office. But I’m a perfectionist…
It was really the buttercream that did it in. The original recipe’s buttercream did not come together, it was not white and fluffy and pretty, and it made me really sad, because nothing sounds more delicious than cardamom buttercream, right? I’m not sure what I did wrong, but that’s okay: I have included my mother’s buttercream recipe instead on this post, adjusted with a hint of cardamom. I know that it is delicious and I wish I had been smart enough to make that icing in the first place!
Also, watch out: these cookies are really, really sweet. (I think I may have been a bit overzealous with my fancy cinnamon.) I think they still need some tweaking. I haven’t decided if I’ll make them again, but if you do, share your changes!
Chai Tea Sandwich Cookies
Adapted from Patisserie Natalie
Makes about two dozen sandwich cookies
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add dry mixture to the butter mixture, and beat just until barely combined. Use your hands to knead the dough together; it will be very dry. Flatten into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a floured surface, roll the disk until 1/4″ thick. Using a scalloped cookie cutter at about 2″ in diameter to cut out cookies. Bake for about 15 minutes (check at 10 minutes–ovens vary!), until edges are just slightly golden brown.
Make the cardamom buttercream (see below). When cookies are completely cooled, to assemble cookies, pipe or spread about a tablespoon of the buttercream on the middle of one side of the cookie, then sandwich together.
Better Cardamom Buttercream
Adapted from Magnolia Bakery and my mom
1 stick softened unsalted butter
3 to 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup milk, any kind
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cardamom
Combine butter, 3 cups of sugar, milk, vanilla, and cardamom in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat well. Add sugar by the 1/2 cup as needed to reach spreadable consistency. If icing becomes too thick, add a tablespoon of milk.