Chai Pumpkin Spice Thumbprints

Oh boy, have I been holding out on you. Pause, now re-read that last sentence with a liiittle more enthusiasm. Because I’m not lying and the moment I saw these Pumpkin Spice Kisses, I just had to have them. (Then I got them home and had to figure out what to make with them).

After a little debate, my answer was to plop those suckers down into the middle of a chai flavored thumbprint cookie. Inspired by those delicious chai cupcakes last year, and some of the ingredients from that recent chai pie, I knew these would come together nicely.


And come together nicely they did.

Chai Pumpkin Spice Thumbprints

Chai Pumpkin Spice Thumbprints



Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and cream at medium speed until fluffy, or with a hand mixer, for about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg, chai concentrate, and the vanilla, mix until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as necessary. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Using your hands, roll the dough into 22 to 24 1 inch round balls. Place the dough balls on parchment paper lined baking sheets and sprinkle chai spice mix lightly over cookies.

Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, unwrap kisses.

Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately place pumpkin kisses in the center of each cookie. Don’t touch or the kisses will turn into puddles! Cool completely.

Adapted From


So mix up the classic pumpkin pie at your Thanksgiving feast this year and throw these bad boys on the table instead.

In the mean time, check out the other inspiration from the rest of the gang participating in the Twelve Weeks of Christmas Cookies – then panic because we are only five more weeks out until the big day.


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  1. Tara says

    Delicious! After reading soe comments, I added the following….1/4cup vanilla flavored Greek yogurt with the butter/sugar, and with the dry ingredients I added 1 packet instant vanilla chai mix.

  2. Debbie says

    I found the Pumpkin Spice Kisses at Target yesterday. I went there specifically to look for these and almost missed them! I thought they would be back with the seasonal candy, but found them on an endcap at the registers. I bought 6 bags!!!! But I have a good excuse…I plan on making these for my Christmas boxes that I do every year (and I may need to keep a bag or 2 for me :) )

    I noticed someone mentioned they used a chocolate based chai cookie for theirs…..does anyone want to share that recipe?


  3. Andrea says

    LOVED the taste, but had hard time “applying” the kisses. are you supposed to flattened the dough balls and make a thumb print in them? they were too sturdy to press the kisses in, ended up with some melting off the top.

  4. A says

    I let these chill for 1 hour in the fridge and followed the recipe exactly… The dough was SO STICKY when I tried to roll the balls to put on the pan. Why??? Half of the dough ended up on my hands!

  5. Kelli says

    Chai is cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, star anise, and ginger. Just add your spices to taste and viola. Chai means tea. Spiced tea.

    • Louisa says

      For the Chai Spice Mix

      ■1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
      ■1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
      ■1/2 tsp ground ginger
      ■1/4 tsp cloves
      ■1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

  6. Kristen says

    Just made a batch of these. I had it in the back of my mind to check Target for the kisses. Picked them up yesterday. Yum! Went back today and sure enough the shelf was empty! Luckily there were a few bags left near the registers.
    I thought the cookie was delish! I didn’t have chai concentrate, but a chai t-bag. I brewed that in 1/4 cup water. I also didn’t have all the spices on hand to make the chai spice, so I used pumpkin pie spice. AND I was so excited I completely missed the whole refrigerate before baking. I scooped with a 1″ scoop and flattened the cookie. Then I took a wrapped kiss and made an imprint for the kiss to go in after baking. The cookie was so deliciously crumbly in texture. Almost biscuit like. Thank you for sharing! I am going to stock up
    On my spices and try it with the chai spice. However, the pp spice really did make
    The cookie yummy!

  7. Lauren says

    Hi there! I just made these yesterday and wanted to share my experience. These cookies are beautiful to look at, but I found them to be rather bland. The cookie dough itself didn’t have much flavor, instead tasting like an unsweetened, shortbread cookie. I baked them in two batches and with the second batch I decided to mix up some of the chai spice with some dark brown sugar. I rolled the cookie balls in this sugar mix before baking, the same way you would with traditional Hershey’s Thumbprint cookies. The result was a much sweeter (but not too sweet) cookie that my family devoured. One thing to note about the Pumpkin Spice Kisses is that they have a strange, dry, waxy texture after cooking. But they taste amazing! I hope that helps!

    • Meghan says

      I was thinking of rolling the cookies in a sugar & chai spice mixture before baking to add some additional flavor because I also thought the first batch was more bland than expected. I also added some of the chai spice mix to the actual dough and was much happier with the taste. I’ll try the brown sugar & chai mix next time – thanks for the suggestion!

  8. Jessie D says

    For those asking, you can almost always find the Oregon chai concentrate at Walmart and other grocery stores in the coffee and tea aisle. It’s usually on the top shelf and they make a few different varieties including decaf and sugar free.

  9. Lindsey N says

    The dough was superrr sticky. The cookies didn’t flatten very well, even after giving them a little smush. They did come out very biscuit like and crumbly. However, they did taste awesome, although I tweaked my recipe a bit. I added Pacific Chai spice to the mix instead of making the chai spice. I would recommend using more chai concentrate and chai spice in the mix. And for those wondering where to get chai concentrate, I know that Target has a few different brands to choose from. They will be with the coffee and teas in a carton. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. mahocean says

    Just made these and they are great. Added 1 teaspoon(more than called for) of the Chai spice mix to the cookie dough batter.instead of sprinkling on to of the cookie. Searched all over last year for the pumpkin spice hershey kisses – finally found them this year. Very festive!

  11. Cheryl says

    I used the Chai concentrate (Tazo) that I usually get at Wegman’s, but also is sold at Starbucks. It has a more rich less sweet flavor than the Oregon version. I also used McCormick Pumpkin Spice instead of mixing my own Chai spice. Kissed also found at Target. I agree that the cookies were a bit dry. I was heavy-handed on the sprinking of the spice, but still they were a bit bland. I would probably the spiced into the cookie itself. I like the other comments about the brown sugar and the spice and rolling them as well!

  12. Renee says

    I just made these last week for my friend’s baby shower and they were a huge hit! So, I am making them again today for a bake sale! I did read all the comments and tweaked things a bit. When I refrigerated the dough, I left it uncovered so it was firm on top rather than sticky. I also refrigerated the dough in between each batch. I also put the kisses in the refrigerator so they were nice and hard. Instead of sprinkling the chai spice on top, I put a small amount in the dough mixture and then mixed the rest with turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw) and rolled the balls of dough in it before baking. I cut down the cooking time to about 11 minutes so they were softer. Don’t press to hard on the kisses…they will melt! After letting the cookies cool for a few minutes I put them in the refrigerator to set and harden the kisses. Then I stored in a covered bowl. They were delicious! The cookie has a really mild flavor but works well with the strong taste of the pumpkin kisses.

  13. Lori says

    I found the Kisses at my grocery store, but Target is a good place to find them. You need to buy them early in the season, when you first see them, and stock up because they’ll be gone before you know it. I froze mine so they wouldn’t melt when I placed them on the hot cookies. Because many people said the cookie tasted bland, I mixed pumpkin pie spice with sugar and rolled the cookie dough ball in the spicy sugar mixture, coating it generously. Then, I placed the sugar-covered dough balls on the baking sheet. I was careful not to over-bake the cookies because I read other reviews that said it was hard to press the candy down. You just have to move quickly. Once the cookies come out of the oven, immediately press your frozen candies into the cookie. The cookie texture is a little spongy, but you can still press the candy down. I doubled this recipe for my daughter’s marching band bus and she came home with an empty container. They loved them!

  14. Tina says

    I too just tried this recipe. I agree that it is a bit bland for my taste. After reading the comments, I added a bit of brown sugar, added some pumpkin spice in addition to the spices required in the dough. After mixing, I added some of the remaining spice mix to sugar and rolled the dough balls in it (read from another commenter). While this helped, the dough itself is still bland but the outside tastes great! I think next time I will use my own sugar cookie recipe, add the chai concentrate, and still roll it in the spices and sugar. If I try it I’ll update with the results! Not a bad idea, and the hershey’s kisses are delicious! Buy them in bulk!

  15. says

    Y U M M Y!!!!!

    The other day I was perusing Target and stumbled upon the pumpkin kisses at the same time another shopper found them. She smiled big, and told me that she had just found a recipe for chai cookies, and couldn’t wait to try them.

    I promptly came home and Googled it :)

    Made them yesterday — except my daughter and I both have Celiac Disease, so I substituted the regular flour with Jules Gluten Free (using the same measurement), and they turned out AWESOME!!!

    Thank you from the bottom of my Candy Heart!!!!!

  16. Connie says

    I love these cookies! With the previous comments I amped up the Chai flavor by adding 1/2 teaspoon of the spice mix to the dough. I also added 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 cup sugar and rolled the balls of dough in it. I almost had enough kisses from one bag to make a double batch. Thanks for posting.

  17. Amanda says

    I made these this morning. I followed the recipe to a T, but I opened up two chai tea teabags and added them to the dough. It def. gave it the extra spice it needed.
    My cookies are very spongy, though. Not bad, just not the texture I was expecting. I was hoping for more of a sugar cookie texture. Anyone have any idea why it came out like this? Maybe refrigerating overnight would be better?

  18. Karen Hatzileris says

    Just got done making these and they are a huge disappointment. The taste is nothing to write home about, just an ordinary sweet taste. They lose shape while they are baking so many of them don’t look like the picture at all. Sprinkling the cookies with the spice after they are on the cookie sheet is a total waste. (And I sure would like to know how you divide 1/2 tsp. among 24 cookies.) I should have just added the spices in the dough. Basically the only thing good about these cookies is the “kiss”. I won’t be making these again!

  19. Julie says

    *Tip for those having trouble putting the kisses in the cookie. If you freeze the kisses before hand you have more time to push them in before they melt. You still have to be quick and not mess with them (especially after they have been in the cookie for a bit) much because they can still turn to puddles. And if you are having a hard time getting them in the dough because the dough won’t give way to make the imprint that holds the kiss, then the dough was cooked too long.
    It took me two tries to make these because the first time I didn’t use the right ingredients. With my first attempt, I tried to use Imperial sticks in place of the butter and I let it sit on the counter for a few days before I got around to making the cookies. So my “dough” was not dough the first time around. It was the consistency of stirred up ice cream when I put it in the fridge and it never got doughy enough for me to roll into balls. My mom and my grandma both always used imperial when baking so I didn’t think anything of it, but upon further investigation I found that the vegetable spreads like Imperial have more water content in them so that probably contributed to my very sticky dough. That and the fact I let it sit on the counter for too long. Anyway, the second attempt I bought some Darigold butter, put it on the counter a couple of hours before I made the cookies, got worried it was too soft and put it back in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes while I prepped everything else and then I started making the cookies. I found that the chai concentrate separated from the butter/sugar combo and so I couldn’t really “blend until combined” on that part. I decided this time around that I wouldn’t use my mixer as much because I was worried that over mixing contributed to the failure of the dough also last time. So I just stirred in the dry ingredients. I also included a full tsp of the chai spice mix in the dough to give it a stronger chai flavor. This time the consistency of the dough was much better. I did a little test with the dough on my hand by taking a little bit and rubbing it in circles. Last time it was like rubbing mashed potatoes (the packaged kind) on my hand. This time it stuck a little, but would lift off easily when I made another circle with my finger (I hope that makes sense). After it was in the refrigerator for an hour (more like two because I got distracted) the dough was perfect for rolling. It did start to warm up a bit and started to stick near the end, but it still worked. I baked for 12 minutes (I think I could have got away with 10 or 11 minutes) and put in my pumpkin spice kisses with no troubles because I froze them first and the combo is very tasty. The dough was tasty by itself and it was moist. I don’t really care for the pumpkin spice kisses alone, but with the cookie they are tasty and these are worth making if you can follow the directions unlike me the first time lol.

  20. Rena says

    Has anyone tried using the Chai Tea Spice flavored coffee syrup by Torani or DaVinci? Just wondering if that would work – it’s pretty concentrated and might make it more flavorful. Any thoughts?


  1. […] but I don’t like chai. Since I know how much he loves it when my girlfriend told me about Chai Pumpkin Spice Thumbprint cookies I knew my husband would be over the moon if I made a cookie just for him. The recipe makes 2 dozen […]

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