Chinese Five-Spice Cookies

These Chinese five-spice cookies are basically a sugar cookie with the addition of sweet Chinese spice powder, which can include ground star anise, cinnamon, ginger, fennel seeds, Szechuan peppercorns, and cloves. The cookies are the perfect accompaniment to tea. Because of their snappy, crisp texture, they can handle lots of dunking.

Notes: You can make your own super fine sugar by buzzing 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a food processor for one minute.To keep these Chinese five-spice cookies fresh, place them in an airtight container. They should last a week.–David Leite

Chinese Five-Spice Cookies Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 1 H, 40 M
  • Makes about twenty 2 1/2-inch cookies


  • 1 1/4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar (see LC Note)
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1. Dump the flour, Chinese five-spice powder, and salt in a small bowl and whisk thoroughly. Set aside.
  • 2. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter in a large bowl until creamy and well combined. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until fluffy, about 1 minute.
  • 3. Stir in the flour-spice mixture just until incorporated. Form the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • 4. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Unwrap the dough, place it on a new piece of plastic wrap, and roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Slide the wrap and the dough onto a baking sheet and place the whole shebang in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm it slightly.
  • 5. Remove the sheet and the cookies from the freezer and quickly cut out the spice cookies with a 2 1/2-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, spacing them 1/2-inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until the edges are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Immediately transfer the spice cookies to a wire rack to cool. (The cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.)
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