These cranberry chai thumbprint cookies are soft and chewy, spiced with the familiar flavors of chai and orange and filled with a sweet and tangy cranberry jam. These cookies are perfect for a holiday party or a cookie exchange.
These cookies have a delicious melt-in-your-mouth texture and warmly spiced, buttery flavor. They’re rich and delicate, with a pop of sweet tart from the cranberry jam. They are big on flavor and super easy to make.
Why You'll Love These Cookies
- These cookies are chewy and soft in texture, with a slightly crisp edges.
- They're perfectly spiced to compliment the sweet tart cranberry jam.
- This recipe is simple, only requiring a little bit of extra work rolling the dough into balls and forming the thumbprints.
- The dough doesn't require any chilling.
All purpose flour
Fine sea salt
Orange - for flavor that really compliments the chai and cranberry
Spices - cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice and cloves
- Make the chai spice. Whisk together the cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice and cloves.
- Make the cookie dough. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon of chai spice and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, sugars and orange zest until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the egg and vanilla.
- Beat in the flour mixture.
- Use a 1 tablespoon ice cream scoop the dough into balls.
- Roll the scooped dough into balls.
- Whisk together the remaining chai spice and 3 tablespoons of sugar.
- Roll the dough balls in the sugar spice mixture.
- Fill the cookies. Use your thumb or the back of a ½ teaspoon measuring spoon to make indentations in the cookies.
- Fill with cranberry jam.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Sprinkle cooled cookies with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Storage and Freezing
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Dough balls can be frozen, stored in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Let the dough balls thaw in the refrigerator before rolling in spice/sugar mixture, making the thumbprints and filling with jam and baking.
Substitutions and Variations
Short on spices? Don't like chai? Replace the chai spices for just cinnamon and omit the orange zest to make these more like snickerdoodles.
Cranberry sauce can be used in this recipe. Whisk it well to break up the mixture before using.
Any jam or preserves can be substituted for the cranberry. Cherry, fig and apricot go especially well with the chai spice.
You can replace the flour in the recipe with a gluten free baking blend. My favorite blend is Cup4Cup.
A little bit of cracking around the edges is normal when the cookies bake. To prevent lots of cracks in your cookies, after creating the indentations, smooth the edges with your fingers to buff out the cracks in the dough.
If you make these cranberry chai thumbprint cookies, let me know! Drop a comment or tag me on Instagram. I love seeing your bakes!
For more cookie recipes, check out these posts:
Cranberry Chai Thumbprint Cookies
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
Cranberry Chai Thumbprint Cookies
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon chai spice mix
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon orange zest
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- remaining chai spice
- ½ cup cranberry jam, or sauce
- confectioners' sugar for dusting
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice and cloves. Set aside.1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ginger, ½ teaspoon cardamom, ¼ teaspoon allspice, ¼ teaspoon cloves
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon of the chai spice mix and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.1½ cups all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon chai spice mix, ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and orange zest on medium speed until light and fluffy.½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature, ½ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup granulated sugar, ¾ teaspoon orange zest
- Beat in the egg and vanilla.1 large egg, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Add the flour mixture and beat on low until just combined.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining chai spice and 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar.3 tablespoons granulated sugar, remaining chai spice
- Portion out the dough using a 1 tablespoon ice cream scoop or measuring spoon.
- Roll the portioned dough into balls.
- Roll each ball in the spice/sugar mixture to coat and place the dough balls 2" apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
- Use the back of a ½ teaspoon measuring spoon, or your thumb to make indentations in the center of the dough balls.
- Spoon a heaping ½ teaspoon jam into each indent.½ cup cranberry jam, or sauce
- Bake for 9-11 minutes, until the edges start to lightly brown and the cookies look just set. Do not over bake.
- Remove from the oven. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cool, dust the cookies with confectioners’ sugar. The sugar will melt into the jam centers, but remains on the cookie edges.confectioners' sugar for dusting