I Baked Taylor Swift's Cookies With My Kids—We Now Call Them Swifterdoodles

As in snickerdoodle cookies for us Swifties.

<p>Simply Recipes / Photo IlIustrations by Wanda Abraham / Myo Quinn / Getty Images</p>

Simply Recipes / Photo IlIustrations by Wanda Abraham / Myo Quinn / Getty Images

My kids, ages six, eight, and ten, would tell you that I'm working on being a more patient person. I become exasperated when I’m in the kitchen with them—why is there flour on every cabinet door and how did milk end up spilled across the counter?

That's why I said no when they asked me to bake Taylor Swift’s Chai Cookies after they heard about it on the radio. But that same day Joy the Baker made the cookies on Instagram and my co-workers flagged it as a recipe we should test for Simply Recipes readers.

Taylor Swift’s gravitational pull is strong. So I took a deep breath and called the kids into the kitchen to bake them together. It’s a sugar cookie recipe with chai spices that went viral back in September 2014, right before the release of her 1989 album. Since then, every year Swifties come back to the recipe—it’s become a harbinger of cold-weather baking.

The kids and I created a Taylor Swift baking playlist and had the most tantalizing conversations as we made the cookies:

“Is she rich enough to buy all the Pokémon cards in the world?”
“Does Taylor Swift have to do what her parents say?”
“Who’s John?”

An egg rolled off the counter and there’s still oil running down the side of my oven, but it was worth it. My kids are the best. So are these cookies, which we now call Swifterdoodles because they remind us of snickerdoodle cookies. We'll be making these again—maybe together.

<p>Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn</p>

Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn

How I Made the Taylor Swift Cookies

On her original Tumblr post, Taylor suggests two ways to go about making the cookies:

1. Use a store-bought sugar cookie mix (King Arthur carries a great gluten-free mix) and open and pour a chai bag into the batter.

2. Open and pour a chai bag into Joy the Baker's sugar cookie recipe. Or you can use your favorite sugar cookie recipe.

I went with the third option: Joy Wilson, the blogger behind Joy the Baker, adapted her sugar cookie recipe by adding chai spices and a nutmeg glaze. This is the version that took the world by storm and is frequently referred to as Taylor Swift's Chai Sugar Cookies.

You start by beating a stick of unsalted butter with half a cup each of oil, granulated sugar, and powdered sugar. To that you add the chai spices, adjusting the quantities to your taste preference: ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and black pepper. I used the amounts Joy calls for in the recipe and my kids didn't find them too strong.

Beat in an egg and vanilla, and fold in two cups of flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. This yields a wet batter (see image below) that needs to rest in the fridge to firm up for about an hour. It’s impossible to scoop as is.

<p>Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn</p>

Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn

After the dough firms up in the fridge, scoop and shape it using a #50 cookie scoop (about 1.2 tablespoons), which yields 30 cookies. Roll each in a cinnamon sugar mixture and bake in a 350°F oven for about 9 minutes. I could fit eight cookies on a standard sheet pan without them spreading and becoming one with each other. Since you'll bake these in batches, keep the batter in the fridge until the baked cookies come out of the oven.

Smart Tip

Though the cinnamon sugar coating is extra and not vital to making these delicious cookies, I highly recommend it. Erika Kwee of The Pancake Princess taught me to add a pinch of salt to the cinnamon sugar to bring out its flavor. That’s what I did, and my oh my! She’s right.

Cool the cookies on a wire rack. Then spread a glaze made with powdered sugar, milk, and ground nutmeg. This is going to feel like it's too much, especially with the cinnamon sugar coating. If you're really averse to the extra sugar, skip it. I glazed half of our cookies and left the other bare. The glazed ones were gone first and were well worth the extra effort.

<p>Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn</p>

Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn

Get Recipe with Title: Joy the Baker: Taylor Swift's Chai Sugar Cookies

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