Rich. Robust. Exotically spiced. AHH BE STILL MY HEART.
I had originally picked this tea up as part of a pseudo college care package for T because I'm such an adoring sister. You know it's true. :P Needless to say, she must not have had time for tea time because this tea was still wrapped in plastic at the end of the semester. HER LOSS. Cuz I took it back and made some delicious cookies and several delicious cups of tea.
While I enjoy a good chai tea latte on occasion, I wouldn't call myself a chai fanatic by any means. I'm definitely not hipster enough for that, but this was pretty darn good! I wish you could smell this. Very warm, full-bodied, and spiced just right with a hint of vanilla. Aspiring hipsters y'all gotta get on this!
Taste wise, it comes quite close to the "authentic" chai teas I've tried - which for me means
1) the Indian buffet chai tea
2) the instant chai my Indian coworker brings sometimes
3) the homemade chai at a random dinner party hosted by Caucasian women who served curry and samosas and had us sit on the floor with some throw pillows
Definitely better, more authentic-tasting than Tazo/Starbucks. And only $1.99 per box! Year round! I suppose this tea would also go well with some good company and conversation but I enjoy this with warm milk, a blanket, and a book or maybe Netflix. Because according to this very scientific evaluation, homegirl's a homebody.
And really, these chai sables by Annie's Eats were the main reason I snatched the tea back from T, which was a most excellent decision. Highly highly recommend making these shortbread cookies with this TJ's chai, especially for tea time. Yes, please.
Chai Chocolate Sables
Adapted from original recipe by Annie's Eats
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Chai tea from 5 TJ's spiced chai tea bags
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1) The dough: In a large bowl, cream the butter, chai, and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high ish setting until light and fluffy. With a nice mixer, it takes 2-3 minutes (but with mine where all the butter gets stuck in the beaters it takes longer). Blend in one egg yolk at a time, and add the vanilla. Switch mixer to low speed and mix in flour and salt (I usually switch to a spatula because my mixer gets angry at flour) until a thick dough forms. If the dough is too dry, add a few splashes of milk.
2) That chocolate: Fold in chocolate chips. I forgot this step because I got too distracted/giddy from the chai aroma.
3) Freeze it: Gather dough together into a big ball (once you do this, it's much harder to incorporate the chocolate chips so if you're doing that, add them in during step 2). Transfer to a piece of parchment paper (wax paper works too). Roll the dough into a log about 1 and 3/4 in. diameter and twist the two ends to seal the paper. Freeze the dough for 2-3 hours or until firm.
4) Slice and bake: Once the dough is firm, slice into rounds just under 1/2 inch thick. Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil. They don't really spread, so if you wanted to forgo the slice and bake route, you could roll out the dough and use cookie cutters. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned/golden. Rotate the pans halfway through baking to ensure even baking. Cool briefly on baking sheet before removing to wire rack and allowing to cool completely. Or eat them right out the oven. That's fine too.
Annie's original recipe also involves rolling the log in a turbinado sugar coating, but to that I say ain't nobody got time for that. They are fine as is.
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Spiced Chai. It's legit. And y'all gotta make these cookies too. 8.5 out of 10.