Chai bars are blondies baked in a 8x8" brownie pan with a gooey center. With a crisp chai sugar crust and a gooey center, these are the best chai cookie bars ever!
Or, as I like to call these cookies: ooey gooey chewy chai bars.
Think of this as the biggest slap in your face of chai ever. You know, if a slap in the face was pleasurable.
I am a complete chai freak. I don't drink coffee much, so chai is my morning beverage of choice. I make my own chai in large batches (the recipe is in my second cookbook), and I love to make a cup first thing in the morning.
I have a hard time stopping at just one cup, but if I make a cuppa and eat a chai bar, my chai quota is met for the day. Or, at least until 3pm. Then, I slice off another sliver of chai bar, and let it melt on my tongue. I can’t get enough sweet spice!
How to make chai cookies:
My chai has fresh ginger, peppercorns, cloves, crushed cardamom pods, and cinnamon sticks. I included all of those spices in these bars, but in their dried and ground form.
So, since it’s the holiday season, also known as the time of year when we share all the cookies, I’ll be sharing slightly larger batch recipes. I know, hold the phone. But here’s the thing: I like to share!
This recipe is made in an 8 x 8 pan<--there's a link to my favorite pan.
You can get 6 or 9 bars, depending how you slice them. I normally make bars in a loaf pan for two servings, but it’s the holidays: let’s live it up!
Side note: you can definitely double this recipe and make it in a 9 x 13 pan if you're really into sharing.
These chai cookies bars are actually really easy: they don't require a mixer, and the ingredients are pretty basic. If you can stir things together and slop it in a pan, you can totally do this!
Step-by-step to make gooey chai spice cookies:
I love this recipe because it calls for melted butter. Sometimes a cookie recipe calls for softened or room temperature butter, and my butter is in the freezer. And then my right eye starts to twitch because I want, need, gotta have a cookie rightfreakingnow and the butter will take ages to soften. It's a sigh of relief when a recipe calls for melted butter, am I right? Ok, so first make your spice mixture. Mix all the spices together, and then reserve 1 teaspoon for the topping. Then, whisk together your dry ingredients in a bowl: the flour, spice mixture (less 1 teaspoon), baking soda and baking powder. Then, whisk together your wet ingredients in a separate bowl: melted butter, vanilla brown sugar, and eggs. Easy, no?
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. No hand mixer required for this cookie bar!
The batter is incredible spoon-to-mouth. But don't do it.
Spread the batter in an 8x8" pan. Stop licking the spoon! I see you!
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, and then start testing with a toothpick. You want the insides to be soft and gooey, but not wet. The toothpick will have some moist crumbs clinging to it. I poked these bars in at least 37 places, but then I photoshop'd the holes out so you wouldn't think I was weird. And now you definitely think I'm weird for photoshopping holes.
Now comes the fun part: melt the butter, granulated sugar and reserved spice mixture. Brush it all on top with your best artistic flare. You are an artiste! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Let the top dry, slice them into chai cookies chunks, and decorate with cute labels. Share if you want. Call me if you don't.
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
For the topping:
- 1 reserved teaspoon of the spice mixture from above
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350, and line an 8x8" pan with parchment paper or foil to prevent sticking.
- Combine all of the spices together in a small bowl, and set aside.
- Next, whisk together the flour, all of the spices except 1 teaspoon (reserve it on the side for topping after baking), baking powder, and baking soda.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until no streaks of flour remain.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 25 minutes.
- Start testing the bars at 25 minutes--you want them to bake but still be soft in the center. Wet crumbs clinging to the toothpick are okay.
- While the bars are still warm, make the topping: Melt the butter. Stir the granulated sugar and reserved spice mixture into the butter and brush on the bars.
- Let cool, slice, and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 430Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 119mgCarbohydrates: 67gFiber: 1gSugar: 45gProtein: 5g