Garam Masala Cookies

18 May

garam masala cookies

When it comes to desserts, I much prefer the unusual to the ordinary. I’ve never been one for vanilla ice cream or chocolate chip cookies; they’re tasty, sure, but way too boring for me. Give me something complex and exciting! These garam masala cookies are definitely in line with my dessert philosophy. Yes, they’re sweet, as cookies are meant to be, but they’re also nutty from brown butter and spicy from garam masala. At first, these fragrant cookies are reminiscent of spice cookies, with the familiar flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. But then there are those less familiar notes from the other components of the garam masala. While unusual, these cookies are still thoroughly enjoyable even for less adventurous eaters and were scarfed right up when I baked them for a party. So, whether you always prefer unique desserts or usually opt for more vanilla options, these cookies are worth throwing together the next time you have a chance.

Garam Masala Cookies (adapted from Helena Bakes)
Yield: 3 dozen cookies


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, browned and at room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

*To brown butter, melt over medium heat, then let bubble, stirring occasionally, until the milk solids separate out (they will look like little white dots on the bottom of the pan) and then brown (the whole process should take 5 – 10 minutes). Remove from heat immediately so the milk solids don’t burn. Transfer to the refrigerator for 1 hour to cool to room temperature.


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 Tbsp garam masala, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt, then set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, browned and at room temperature, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 1 cup packed brown sugar. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract, and beat on high speed until thoroughly combined, about 5 minutes.
  5. Fold in the flour mixture by hand until well-combined.
  6. Drop 1 Tbsp sized scoops onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a silpat approximately 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until the edges are starting to the darken and the tops are crackly, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on sheet for 10 minutes before carefully removing to cooling racks.

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6 Responses to “Garam Masala Cookies”

  1. beti May 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    this is really a strange combination but they look pretty good!

    • Claire May 22, 2012 at 1:55 am #

      Thanks – worth trying out although they might sound strange at first!

  2. Victoria July 4, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

    One day I added some of the Garam masala powder to my buttered toast. I thought this would be so good as dessert. Then I found this recipe. I have been dying to try it so I did today. The subtle spice favor is delicious with an amazing soft cookie dough! Great recipe!

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