If your gluten-free and vegan diet has kept you from nibbling Christmas snowball cookies to your heart’s content, we’ve got great news for you! Our chai-spiced snowball cookies, inspired by Cafe Johnsonia, are deliciously vegan-friendly and surprisingly gluten-free. Rejoice! This is the year you can nibble away.
Nothing warms the soul more than the intensely satisfying flavors of chai tea enjoyed with a yummy dessert. These chai-spiced snowballs let you get your chai and cookie fix all in one bite. Radiant with cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, these special holiday cookies have pronounced vanilla and honey flavors that deliciously balance the heady spices. Made with coconut oil and a gluten-free flour blend, these holiday treats will make you swoon as their velvety texture melts in your mouth.
A batch of these chai-spiced snowball cookies will make a scrumptiously welcome gift for your loved ones following a gluten-free or vegan diet, but even your gluten-loving and non-vegan family and friends will find these holiday treats hard to resist.
A word about chai. A tasty variety of chai drinks and chai-flavored desserts have become commonplace in coffee bars and bakeries, but do you know the history of chai? According to Teatulia.com, “chai” is the Hindi word for tea — specifically a mix of spices brewed into a tea-like drink that, according to legend, was formulated 5,000 years ago for a king who needed a medicinal beverage.
The original chai actually had no real tea leaves in it — just the healing mixture of spices. In the 1800s, when the British ruled India, they discovered black tea and developed an insatiable love for hot black tea, milk, and sugar.
The tea, milk, and sugar made their way into the Indian chai, which then became a traditional strong black tea mixed with a blend of spices — including cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and black peppercorns — milk and honey or sugar.
Make the cookie dough
In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine coconut oil, honey, sugar, vanilla bean seeds, baking soda, salt, and spices. Beat on medium speed until well-blended. Add 1 cup of the flour, mixing just until incorporated. Add the remaining flour in 2 more additions, mixing well after each. The dough should be firm and hold together, but not crumbly.
Refrigerate the dough
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Shape the cookies into balls and bake
Scoop dough into 36 small balls, each about 1/2-tablespoon size. Place the dough balls on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake cookies at 350F for 15 to 20 minutes or until the snowballs are firm and golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the baking sheets.
Dust the snowballs
Roll each warm snowball cookie in powdered sugar to coat. Let cookies cool completely on parchment-lined baking sheets. Serve.
The perfect holiday cookie
Sweet and spiced
These delicious cookies will become your new holiday favorite
Gluten-free and vegan chai-spiced snowball cookies
AuthorRecipe inspired by Cafe Johnsonia
1/2 cup extra-virgin coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 to 2-1/4 cups gluten-free flour blend
1 to 2 cups powdered sugar, for rolling and dusting
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 350F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine coconut oil, honey, sugar, vanilla bean seeds, baking soda, salt, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Beat on medium speed until well-blended.
Add 1 cup of flour and slowly mix well. Add additional flour in 2 more batches, mixing well after each addition. Note: You may not need all of the flour. The dough should be firm and hold together in a ball without being crumbly or too dry.
Chill the dough for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Scoop dough into 36 small balls, about 1/2-tablespoon each. Place dough balls on baking sheets.
Bake in top part of oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cookies are firm and golden brown.
Allow cookies to cool slightly on baking sheets.
Once cool enough to touch, but still warm, roll cookies in powdered sugar.
Place cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets and allow to cool completely.