We’re closing out September with a subtle nod to fall with these maple chai snickerdoodles. They aren’t an in-your-face fall flavor like pumpkin or sweet potato might be, but they still have those warm spices that make you want to cozy up inside and wish that fall weather was here for good.
I was excited about this combination of flavors from the beginning, but even more excited with how these cookies turned out. The maple flavor isn’t too strong that it takes over; it is more of a hint of maple that brings together the spices and creates depth and a great rich flavor in the cookie. Make sure you use pure maple syrup, not a pre-sweetened imitation syrup – the flavors and textures are so different. Pure maple syrup adds just the right amount of sweetness and gives the cookies that moist, perfectly dense and chewy center.
We brought these to dinner with some friends and they were such a hit! Everyone reached for another and asked how the centers stayed so soft. The secret is in the chilling. Don’t skip this step. While it means you have to plan ahead a bit, freezing the dough balls helps them hold their domed shape and spread less while they are baking to give you a thicker, softer center when they are done. That’s really what I dream of for all cookies (sorry, crispy cookie lovers).
The chai spiced coating gives these snickerdoodles a little oomph that the regular cinnamon sugar mixture can’t provide. When I was testing these, I tried the classic cinnamon sugar mixture and then this chai combination and there was no question – the chai spices won in a landslide. The chai seasonings hold their own against the maple flavor and give the cookies a slightly spiced finish.
Maple chai snickerdoodles are soft, thick, and chewy, with the perfect combination of chai spices and sweet maple syrup. They make for a delicious fall treat, and an amazing fall snack. Devour them on their own, or try them with a cup of tea, or better yet, a chai latte. You won’t want to go back to regular snickerdoodles after these.
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Chai Spiced Coating
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar*
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the maple syrup, vanilla, and eggs and stir until well combined.
Pour the dry ingredients into the mixer a little bit at a time and mix until there are no streaks of flour left.
Scoop or roll the dough into 1 ½ tablespoon balls. Place each dough ball side-by-side on the baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for 4 hours, or overnight.
Once the dough balls are frozen, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper, or, if you are only planning on making some of the cookies, transfer your dough balls to a bag and use your baking sheet that is already parchment-lined.
In a small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients. Roll each ball of dough in the mixture to coat. Place 6 cookies on your baking sheet, leaving a few inches between them to allow for spreading. Bake for 10-15 minutes (mine take about 13), or until the edges are just starting to turn slightly golden. They will be pale in the center and still puffy, but will continue to bake as they cool, so don’t take them out too late. Transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack and allow them to cool for about 15 minutes.
*Turbinado sugar gives the cookies that extra crunch and sparkle, but you can easily replace the turbinado sugar with granulated sugar if you like.