In Elite Daily I tried series, we test celebrity favorite products, recipes and routines to show you what the life of your favorite celeb really looks like. In this piece, we try to recreate Taylor Swift’s chai tea eggnog cookie recipe.
Everything old is new again when it comes to Taylor Swift. I mean, literally – the superstar is re-recording his first five albums and the most recently released. Red (Taylor version), the 2021 iteration of her hit album from 2012. That means Swifties everywhere are in a nostalgic mood as they listen to new versions of old songs and rekindle memories. And fans can relive the past with more than just the music of Taylor this time of year with his famous holiday cookie recipe that once swept the internet.
Before going any further, I have to admit that I haven’t always been a Taylor Swift fan. OK, let me qualify this: I was never a * hater *, but back then Red originally came out, I was far from the tallest Swiftie in the world. Then 2020 hit and Taylor gifted the world with not one, but two gorgeous albums (folklore and always), and suddenly I understood what it was. So, while I was late to board the T. Swift train, I’m here now, and I think it’s time I caught up with everyone trying everything Swift related.
In 2014, Swift shared her chai tea eggnog sugar cookie recipe, which basically looks like the perfect winter day distilled into a delicious treat. I used the recipe shared by Seventeen, simply because it was a little easier to follow than a screenshot of a post deleted since the days of Swift on Tumblr. (I know it’s about being nostalgic, but I can’t go further.) So, I gathered my ingredients, turned on Red (Taylor version) for the perfect pastry soundtrack, and ready to bake.
The good thing about this recipe is that I already had most of the ingredients in my pantry. There were only a few things I needed to pick up specifically for this recipe: nutmeg, eggnog, and chai tea (plus eggs and butter, but that was only because I had just run out).
Here’s what you need for chai tea cookies:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 bag of chai tea
And here’s what you need for the eggnog frosting that goes on top:
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons of eggnog
First of all, I preheated oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then I put the butter in the blender and let this trusty tool beat it for a minute. This is where I admit that a lot of times when I bake in the oven, even though the recipe tells you to use a blender, I’ll try to mix it by hand; it’s just easier than lugging around the KitchenAid. But when I saw that this recipe asked you to mix in the butter for a whole minute, I was happy to let a machine do the work for me.
Then I added the rest of the wet ingredients (vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla extract) and sugars and mixed them over medium heat until combined. TBH, it was like many sugar, but I guess they don’t call them sugar cookies for nothing.
Then, it was time for the part of the recipe that makes it unique to Swift: a packet of chai tea. You simply cut the tea bag and pour the ground leaves directly into the dough.
The last step was to add the flour, baking soda and salt to the dough and mix over low heat. Once all combined, the recipe said to put the dough either in the refrigerator for an hour or in the freezer for 15 minutes to make it easier to handle. I’m looking forward to most things, but mostly cookies, so I opted for a shorter wait time. I put the dough in the freezer and stuck it at “22 (Taylor Version)” while the dough cooled.
When the time was up I was happy to see that the freezer trick worked and the dough was super easy to handle when I pulled it out. After that, I dropped about a tablespoon of dough per cookie on a lined baking sheet, each about two inches apart – you can flatten them out a bit with your fingers so they were about ¼ inch apart. thick. In the oven they are gone, for about 9-10 minutes, or just under the duration of “All Too Good (10 minute version) (Taylor version)”. I listened to it as the cookies baked and my anger at Jake Gyllenhaal for breaking Tay’s heart was only softened by the absolutely delicious smell emanating from my oven.
Seriously, these cookies smelled as the coziest, warmest cafe in cold weather. I was so tempted to dig in as soon as I took them out of the oven, but I had to let them cool first – which was good, as it gave me time to make the frosting.
Fortunately, the preparation of the icing is very easy. All you need to do is mix the cinnamon, nutmeg, and eggnog with another cup of powdered sugar. The only problem I had was that the recipe I was working on told me to use a tablespoon of eggnog, which clearly wasn’t enough. I crossed it with another version of the recipe published on the blog Joy the baker, which requires three tablespoons of eggnog. I ended up using about three and a half tablespoons of eggnog, which made for the perfect frosting consistency.
The recipe instructions said to pour the frosting directly onto the cookies, which I did at first, but for me this presentation left a bit to be desired.
I tried again, but this time I lightly sprinkled the icing on the cookies and was much happier with how they looked.
I sprinkled a few cookies with a little extra cinnamon, then it was time for the taste test.
The taste test
Welp, I was right about all the sugar; these things are sweet! I have a huge sweet tooth, so the fact that I find them a little too sweet says a lot. However, all this sweetness do make these feel like a truly special holiday treat. Besides the sugar, I could really taste the chai spices mixed in there. It was like the culinary version of a decadent cup of tea, which I absolutely loved.
As for the frosting, the eggnog taste was a bit too strong on the cookies that got a dollop full, but the cookies with just a drizzle had the perfect balance of chai and eggnog, in my opinion.
In the same way it took me a little longer to fall in love with Swift’s music, once I got used to her chai eggnog cookies, I fell in love with them as well. I love anything wintery that helps get me into the holiday spirit, and these cookies are about as festive as they come.
Next time I make them, I might try cutting down on the sugar a bit. I also think these would be perfect even without the frosting – and if you forgo frosting, you don’t need to buy cinnamon, nutmeg, or eggnog, which can be the trickier ingredients (and most expensive) to obtain.
Anyway, I don’t think you can go wrong with this recipe. Plus, Swift’s version of a cookie goes really well with any of Taylor’s versions of her songs, especially as fans patiently wait for another comeback moment with the release of 1989 (Taylor version).