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.

David Leite

LC Got Superfine Sugar? Note

You can make your own superfine sugar by buzzing 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a food processor for one minute or so. You want it to still be granulated, not powdery.

Special Equipment: 2 1/2-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter

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 above)
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1. Dump the flour, Chinese five-spice powder, and salt in a small bowl and whisk thoroughly.
  • 2. Using an 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 more.
  • 3. Stir in the flour mixture, combing just until everything is incorporated and a soft dough forms. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • 4. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and adjust the rack to the center position.
  • 5. Unwrap the dough, place it on a fresh 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.
  • 6. Remove the dough 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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