Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cake of the Week: Chai Spice Cookies with Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

Let me explain my housing situations. My former house, where I lived for three years and moved out of a couple weeks ago, was not only a home but also a job for me. It was a house owned by a national foundation that provides cheap housing to students and interns in major cities, and I was the House Manager. The HM job description is a weird hybrid of resident assistant and landlord…kind of like a super, who also plans house events, screens applicants, buys supplies, and generally makes sure everyone is playing nicely and getting along.

As the HM, my living space was the basement apartment. I had my own kitchen, living room, and bathroom, but was still connected to the rest of the house. This meant that if I wanted to hang out with the 6 residents above me I could...but if I wanted Mollie-on-the-couch introvert time, that was mine for the taking.
It was the perfect second job for a recent college grad/non-profit worker. Residents came and went, 2-6 per semester (since it's run by a foundation, the house doesn’t HAVE to be full). I became close friends with some of the residents (LOTR-EmilyPhotoman, etc.), and some remained simply residents, nice people who came and went through my life.

But now things are totally different. I live in a 2-bedroom apartment with SpeedyKate, who as any Eat Run Read-er knows, isn't just a roommate but my friend! It's definitely different than the big group house. I’m enjoying not being responsible for others when I come home, and contacting our landlord to fix any and all of our problems (before I was the one people called – blerg). I no longer live alone(ish), so there’s a bit less introvert time, but as SpeedyKate and I set up our home and establish our roommate relationship, I like living with a friend more and more.

I know she appreciates my baked goods. Who wouldn't want to wake up to this?

And when I came home from volunteering this weekend, I found a pretty little rose left on the table next to my tea. Nice surprises like that just don’t happen when you live semi-alone.

So in response, I left her one of the cookies I'd made for my friends' bar-b-q. They're Chai Spice Cookies with Chai Cream Cheese Frosting. The buttermilk creates a texture like a super-light, not-dry scone...or maybe like a cookie/cupcake combination…kind of like the fluffy puffy cookies. However you choose to describe them, they’re addicting.

Chai Spice Cookies 

(Slightly adapted from Eat, Live, Run.)
Printable Recipe. 

  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream together the soft butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat for about three more minutes until well combined. Alternate adding the buttermilk and the flour mixture to the butter, starting and ending with the flour. Add the vanilla and beat on medium until everything is combined and the batter is smooth.
  4. Scoop large spoonfulls of batter onto a sprayed or parchment-lined baking sheet. These cookies don’t spread very much while baking, so try to shape them round-ish, and you may need to pat them down a bit (tip: dip your fingers in flour so the dough doesn’t stick to your hands as you pat). 
  5. Bake for about twelve minutes. Let cool completely while you make the chai cream cheese frosting.

Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese (1/2 block)
  • 2-4 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom

  1. To make the frosting, beat together the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla. Beat in the powdered sugar, spices, and 2 tablespoons buttermilk. Add more buttermilk as needed to reach a spreadable consistency. 
  2. Frost cookies once cookies are completely cool.

Printable Recipe.