Chai Snowballs

chai snowball dessert on plate with pink striped paper
Photo: Ryan Liebe
Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
3 dozen

While these powdery treats may resemble Mexican wedding cookies or Russian tea cakes, they have a decidedly different flavor, thanks to the chai-inspired combination of Darjeeling tea and warming spices in the batter.


  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup almond flour

  • 2 tablespoons best-quality black tea leaves, such as Darjeeling, coarsely ground in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger

  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

  • Pinch of ground cloves

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for rolling

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or paste


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a bowl, whisk together both flours, tea, salt, pepper, and spices. In another bowl, beat butter with sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low; gradually add flour mixture, beating just until a dough forms. Roll level tablespoons of dough into balls. Place 1 inch apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets.

  2. Bake, rotating rack positions once halfway through, until cookies are set and golden on bottoms, 15 to 18 minutes.

  3. Let cool on sheets 5 minutes. Roll in confectioners' sugar; let cool completely on a wire rack. Generously coat in more confectioners' sugar before serving, or store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.

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