These chewy and tender Caramel-Stuffed Chai Cookies are full of warmth and decadence. You’ll love that chai-spiced flair from cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, and more that make these cozy cookies so fragrant. Nutty brown butter and a caramel-stuffed center add richness and up the elegance here!
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large Pete & Gerry’s Pasture-Raised Eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla essence (I use vanilla bean paste)
- 32 soft caramels (I use Werther’s Original)
- Demerara or turbinado sugar, for rolling cookies- optional
- Preheat & prep. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with a reusable silpat liner or parchment paper/foil, then set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg and whisk the dry ingredients together until well combined. Then set the bowl aside while you brown the butter.
- Brown the butter. In a small, light-colored saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter melts, it will get foamy and you will hear it bubbling as it cooks. Then it will take on a clear, light golden color. Note: Do not leave the pot unattended for long during the browning process as it can burn very quickly. Stir the butter every so often, scraping up any bits as you stir, until it turns deep brown and has a nutty aroma with brown bits on the bottom. Once achieved, remove from heat and let brown butter cool down a bit.
- Bring cookie dough together. In a large bowl, combine the brown butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla essence. Whisk the wet ingredients well to thoroughly combine. Then add the flour mixture into the same bowl and use a rubber spatula to bring the cookie dough together until just combined with no pockets of the dry mixture visible. I like to switch to using my hands to finish bringing the cookie dough together.
- Assemble the cookies. Fill a small bowl with demerara or turbinado sugar (if using), and set aside. Using a large cookie scoop (I use a 3 tablespoon scooper), scoop the cookie dough. Use your thumb to press down directly in the center of the scoop creating a small well. Place 2 soft caramels into the well, right on top of each other, then apply some cookie dough over the caramels to close and cover. Scoop the dough out into the palm of your hand and roll the cookie dough into a tight ball, ensuring the caramels are fully covered and not sticking out. Then roll the cookie dough ball in the coarse sugar, and then place onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process until all cookies have been assembled.
- Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes until golden brown and lightly crisp around the edges. Let the cookies cool down on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then carefully transfer cookies to a cooling rack to continue cooling. These cookies are soft and tender when they first come out, and then they firm up as they cool.
- Serve cookies warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
- Storing cookies: After cooling, keep these fresh baked cookies stored inside of an airtight container or plastic bag. I recommend keeping your caramel-stuffed chai cookies right on the counter at room temperature where they’ll last for up to 3 days. I do not recommend refrigeration as it tends to dry cookies out. Although, feel free to freeze the cookies to extend their life, simply thaw in the fridge overnight or leave them out on the counter.
- Please read blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.
Keywords: chai cookies, caramel stuffed cookies, holiday baking, holiday cookies, chai spice, chai