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Welcome to our second Food Bloggers’ Valentine’s Cookie Event, raising funds in support of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer!  Once again, I am honored to be a #helpingcookie in the company of some wonderfully generous food bloggers who have not only made donations to the organization but are sharing delicious recipes created just for this event.  We are excited to share our treats ~ I’ve made Chai Latte Shortbread Hearts! ~ along with important information about the fight against pediatric cancer ~ and how you can help too.

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Visit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer to learn all about this phenomenal organization celebrating their 10th anniversary. Did you know that cancer is the #1 cause of death of children by disease in the U.S.? There are 40,000 U.S. children actively battling cancer right now. With less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget going to all childhood cancer combined, I felt it was really important to get involved.

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To support Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, our goal was to raise at least $3000.  Our three sponsoring companies: Dixie Crystals, Mediavine and OXO each pledged to match our donations raised through this campaign up to $3000 – which would “matchically” bring our total amount raised to $12,000. The exciting news is that, thanks to fantastic support from the start, we have surpassed our goal, and we are all so excited! The important work of Cookies for Kid’s Cancer continues, and every donation makes a difference.  Donate here. and help us make an even bigger impact!

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You’ll learn so much on the “C4KC” website, including that you can raise funds by holding a bake sale in your area. Wouldn’t it be great to have some fabulous new recipes that would make your bake sale  ~ and your Valentine’s Day ~ extra-special? Your wish is my command!

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Chai Latte Shortbread Hearts are buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cookies with hints of warm cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and cloves paired perfectly with rich coffee. Sprinklings of fragrant Chai Spiced Sugar wrap them up in another spicy hug.  They’re irresistible! (And if you don’t like coffee, no worries – use vanilla extract instead and you’ll have a lovely spiced cookie that’s just divine!)

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Not only did OXO and Dixie Crystals generously match our donations up to $3,000, they also sent us wonderful things to help us create our recipes. OXO’s Good Grips commercial grade nonstick half-sheet pan and cooling rack (both with extra large handles), along with their 2 cup measuring cup (with an angled surface that lets you read the measurements from above) and Dixie Crystals 2 lb. bags of Extra Fine Granulated Sugar made baking even more fun. And Dixie Crystals Silicone Baking Mats are my absolute favorite candy-making accessory – brittle and toffee just lift right off, like magic!

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Shortbread is delightfully uncomplicated to make.  Just a few ingredients (butter, sugar, flour, a bit of spice and flavoring) whisked together, pressed into a pan and baked…voila!…sweets for the sweet.  I’ve come up with lots of variations on my favorite recipe over the years. I have to say that I’m loving this new one, and I think you will too!

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Key to the flavor is Chai Spiced Sugar. You’re going to think, “Wow, this recipe makes a big batch…” – trust me, you’re going to want all of it! Dixie Crystals’ 2 lb. bag was the exact amount of sugar the recipe calls for (good to know for future batches!).  The combination of spices is divine. If you’ve never used cardamom before, it’s very fragrant and floral, so start with the smaller amount in the recipe and then add more if you’d like a stronger flavor profile.

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Once the shortbread is baked, I let it cool for about 20 minutes, then used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut. You can also roll the dough into a log, chill and slice; or pat into a disc, chill, roll out and cut. I even found a heart shaped tube that you can chill the dough in, then slice and bake.  Honestly, I really love just pressing it into the pan and going from there ~ easy peasy!

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Save those scraps – you can cut little square and triangle cookies.  You don’t want any of this deliciousness going to waste!

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Here’s an important tip: make the shortbread at least 2 days ahead. Shortbread gets better with age (making it perfect for getting a head start on holiday baking and for sending to friends and family) – and I found after a couple of days, the stronger coffee flavor had mellowed and melded with the delicate chai spices for a lovely balance.

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Do give this shortbread a try ~ I think you – and whomever you share it with – will be glad you did.

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And for a special treat ~ I’ve got two of those fabulous OXO Cooling Racks to give away! That’s right, two randomly picked lucky bakers will each receive one cooling rack to enjoy. For a chance to win, leave a comment below by Sunday, February 18th at 6PM (PT) and tell me what cookies or treats you’ll be baking for Valentine’s Day.  (Entries from the Continental US only, please.) 

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Thank you so much for joining us for our Valentine Cookie Event! Remember, you can host your own bake sale or Donate here. to support Cookies for Kids’ Cancer in their efforts. We’re thrilled to have surpassed our goal, but it can’t be overstated: the important work continues, and every donation helps!

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A very special thanks to our fearless leader, Julie of The Little Kitchen for her dedication and patience wrangling this big group of enthusiastic bloggers together! From my heart to yours, happy baking, Happy Valentine’s Day, and enjoy, y’all!


Chai Latte Shortbread Hearts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Buttery, rich, and flavored with coffee and delicate spice ~ Chai Latte Shortbread Hearts are easy to make and perfect anytime! Make them a couple of days ahead for the best flavor.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert, Cookies
Serves: 48 squares
Ingredients
  • Chai Spiced Sugar
  • adapted from recipe in Taste of the South Southern Christmas 2014
  • 4 cups sugar (1 – 2 lb. bag Dixie Crystals Granulated Sugar is the perfect amount!)
  • 2-3 teaspoons ground cardamom; it’s a very strongly scented and floral spice so start with the lesser amount and add more if you like
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp. vanilla powder
  • Chai Latte Shortbread
  • 1 lb. (4sticks) sweet butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp. table salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Chai Spice Blend (note: this is a different mixture than the Chai Spiced Sugar you're going to sprinkle on top); it's only the spices with no sugar. I use McCormick brand)
  • 1-2 tsp. coffee extract, depending on how strong you like the coffee flavor; you can substitute 2 tsp. vanilla extract for Chai-Spiced Shortbread if you prefer
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Make the Chai Spiced Sugar:
  2. In a medium bowl, or zip-top bag combine sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, pepper, and vanilla powder.
  3. Cover or seal bag.
  4. Transfer sugar mixture to airtight containers, such as glass jars.
  5. The flavor improves over time, and the mixture will keep for at least 6 months.
  6. Make the Chai Latte Shortbread:
  7. Preheat oven to 325F. You’ll need an 11” x 15” jellyroll pan or 12” x 18” half-sheet pan.
  8. Whisk butter until smooth.
  9. Add sugar and whisk until light and fluffy.
  10. Stir in coffee extract, Chai spice, salt and flour.
  11. Press evenly into pan and prick top with a fork.
  12. Sprinkle with Chai Spiced Sugar.
  13. If using an 11” x 15” jellyroll pan, bake approximately 40 minutes; if using a 12” x 18” ½ sheet pan, bake approximately 25 minutes, until firm and just starting to color.
  14. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle again with the Chai Spiced Sugar.
  15. Cool 20 minutes, then cut into shapes with cookie cutters, or use a knife to cut squares or bars.
  16. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
  17. Makes 48 squares (see notes).
Notes
The number of cookies this recipe yields will vary depending on the shape and size of the cookie cutter used, as well as the size of the baking sheet. This recipe, baked in a half-sheet pan, made 20 3” hearts, with scraps left to cut several small cookie squares and triangles. Baked in an 11" x 15" jellyroll pan and cut into squares, this recipe will yield approx. 48 cookies.

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48 comments on “Chai Latte Shortbread Hearts”

  1. I just might make these chai shortbreads for Valentine’s Day and send them (well, most of them!) to my daughter in Boston! I’m also making brownies for my bunko group Monday to satisfy my chocolate needs, and something else for the guys in the house who don’t love chocolate.
    Question: where does one find vanilla POWDER??

    • I’m so happy you’re going to try, these, Deb! I think you can find Vanilla Powder now in most markets or craft stores – the brand I use is Cook’s. You can always try on amazon too!

  2. While these look delicious, I’m probably going to bake the Triple Chocolate Cherry Cookies from last year. I NEED chocolate for Valentine’s Day!

    • I totally understand, Tara; I am a confirmed chocoholic myself! I’m delighted you’re going to make the Triple Chocolate Cherry Cookies from last year ~ those are among my favorites too!

    • Thank you ,Joan! They really do taste wonderful ~ and there’s nothing that says you have to pick just one cookie to bake! 🙂

  3. I can’t wait to make these Chai Latte Shortbread Treats! Planning to bring some into work and send some to my daughter.

    • I can’t wait to hear how you like them, Leslie! A quick note – I did make one clarification in the recipe – the Chai Spice Blend in the shortbread dough is different than the Chai Spiced Sugar. Let me know if I can answer any questions ~ happy baking! 🙂

  4. These sound soooo very delicious, I’ll be adding them to my “must try super soon” list 🙂
    I usually make Peppermint Pillow Hearts for Valentine’s Day, mmmm the softest, most delicious cookies!!

    Thanks for the opportunity to enter this contest <3

    • I’m so happy you’re going to try the shortbread, Jenny – do let me know how you like it! Thank you for stopping by and entering the giveaway!

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