Oh my Chai.
Soooooo, I know those butter cookies with the heart cutouts and jelly centers are a popular choice on valentine's day but I decided to go a different route...chai! I posted these cookies on my instagram on 2/14 without the recipe because I mentioned how it was "selfish" baking aka I didn't take a lot of photos and I didn't write the recipe. I made a batch of these to give out to my family, friends and coworkers on valentine's day. After asking on instagram if people would be interested in the recipe, all the YES PLEASE comments convinced me to write it up!
Something to note about cutting shapes with this dough, it's not easy. There is a high butter content in this dough so it's very soft. I used flour on the rolling pin, work surface and the dough itself to make rolling this dough out a little easier. Even with the flour, you have to be very careful when working with this dough so that it doesn't break! If you want to avoid the hassle, I would suggest balling up small amounts of dough and gently flatening them (not all the way) to make the two halves of the sandwich!
In terms of your choice of chai, it's up to you. Remember that when you infuse tea in butter It really gets the flavor of whatever tea you're working with! For these I used a chai I had which is a white chocolate pumpkin chai, the pumpkin flavor came through well. If you need a reminder on how to infuse the butter with tea, it's very simple! Melt the butter in a pan, once it's melted take it off the stove and place your tea in the butter. I like to keep the tea in the butter until it's fragrant! Strain your tea and then let the butter solidify, I find it useful to put in the freezer to make the process faster.
Don't throw away your tea leaves after you strain the butter! What I did to get this fun texture is took some of the leaves, chopped them up fine and threw them in the dough. Be careful to take out any hard chunks like cardamom, pepper etc. This is totally optional but I thought it added a pretty design to the cookies!
These are the heart shaped cookies I made on valentine's day, very festive! Making the heart shapes was definitely easier than making the teapot shapes!
Just for reference, in one of these batches I used bread flour because it was all I had and all I did differently was use 2 egg yolks instead of one egg, the cookies were just as good and soft :)
Did I mention that the best part about these cookies is how soft they are?? It's very easy to take a bite out of them! No crunching here!
I wasn't specific about the filling because everyone has their own preferences. I beat the butter then gradually added cinnamon and powdered sugar until it was stiff enough to stay but not runny when spreading. If you get to a point where you overdid the sugar and it's too stiff, add a tiny bit of milk of your choice to loosen it up.
I was a little lazy with the designs, I had on hand these store bought frosting that come in an easy squeeze bag and used that to make the swirls on both sets of cookies :)