The story goes like this: On September 29, 2014, Swift posted a picture of cookies on her Instagram with the caption “Chai sugar cookies with cinnamon eggnog icing AKA Christmas in September.” (She deleted all her old posts in August 2017, but her enterprising stans keep detailed records.)
It soon came to light that the singer had actually baked the batch for fans. That fall, she hosted what are now known as the 1989 Secret Sessions, a handful of exclusive fan parties at her abodes in various cities. During each session, guests got to listen to the entire 1989 album (which hadn’t yet been released), sample Swift’s homemade desserts, and hang out with the singer herself. The chai cookies were served at the Nashville session.
When Swifties later clamored for the recipe on Tumblr, Swift obliged them with detailed directions in a now-deleted (but, of course, preserved) post. The Secret Sessions cookies were made from scratch, but she also shared a “quick and easy way” that involves store-bought cookie mix.
Take your pick:
1. The Quick and Easy Way
“The quick and easy way is to make sugar cookies from a sugar cookie mix and just cut open a packet of chai tea and pour it into the batter as you make it,” Swift wrote. “[Because] you’re busy and you want making cookies to be a chill part of your day. Pow. Done.”
Since store-bought sugar cookie mix requires few additional ingredients—usually just a stick of butter and either an egg or a little water—this version is both quick and cost-efficient.
2. From Scratch
But recreating Swift’s idea of the perfect chai cookie isn’t too hard either: It’s still just a regular sugar cookie recipe with the addition of one tea bag’s worth of chai. She recommended using Joy the Baker’s recipe for “Giant Vanilla Sugar Cookies” and dumping in the chai “after you add the egg and vanilla.”
For the icing, combine these four ingredients:
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons (or “TAYblespoons,” as Swift put it) of milk or eggnog
If you’d rather have more of a glaze than an icing, simply add a tad more milk or eggnog to thin it out. Once your cookies are cooled and iced (or glazed), sprinkle cinnamon over them for the final autumnal touch.
And if you’d like to take the “from scratch” element a step further and create the chai flavoring using spices instead of a tea bag, Joy the Baker has a great recipe for “Taylor Swift’s Chai Sugar Cookies” that does just that.