Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cardamom Butter Cookies

The current Cookbook Challenge theme is Spice. I love sweet spiced food, with spices such as cinnamon, clove, allspice, and nutmeg. Cardamom is a spice that I only recently started using, so I was excited to try these cardamom butter cookies.
If you go to your average supermarket and grab a bottle of cardamom off the shelf, you may be shocked at the price. This recipe calls for a lot of cardamom (5 1/2 teaspoons total), so you will probably want to see if you can find it cheaper. I'm lucky enough to have a low-price supermarket that carries many items in bulk. They have ground cardamom for about 10 US dollars a pound. I got enough to fill a medium-sized bottle and it only cost me 50 cents! If you don't have any supermarkets nearby that have spices in bulk, try looking in specialty markets, such as ones that would carry Indian or European foods. They may have cardamom in bulk, sold in bags, or in regular bottles at a fraction of the average supermarket price.
This recipe is from The Complete Cookie Book by Elizabeth Wolf Cohen, published in 1994.
It makes about 2 dozen cookies.

2 cups cake flour or all-purpose flour
4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sliced or flaked almonds
 To decorate:
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tsp cardamom
sliced or flaked almonds (optional)

Notes: The recipe says to use cake flour, but I used all-purpose because I didn't feel like buying cake flour just for this recipe, and all-purpose flour is called "all-purpose" for a reason! Also, I thought sliced or flaked almonds would be too big for the cookies, so I bought slivered almonds and then put them in a storage bag and ground them up with a rolling pin.

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 2 large baking sheets. Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, cardamom, and salt.
 In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy, 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. On low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture until well-blended; then stir in almonds.
 Into a small bowl, sift together confectioners' sugar and cardamom. Using a tablespoon, scoop out dough and roll into 1 1/2-inch balls. Drop balls one at a time into sugar-spice mixture, rolling to coat well.
 Place 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets. Dip bottom of a glass into sugar mixture, and flatten cookies to 1/2-inch thick rounds. Press 2 or 3 sliced or flaked almonds onto tops of cookies.
Vader enjoys helping out in the kitchen whenever he can.

 Bake cookies until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes (12 minutes ended up being a minute or two too long in my horrible electric oven), rotating baking sheets from top to bottom shelf and from front to back halfway through cooking time. Remove baking sheets to wire racks to cool, 2 to 3 minutes. Then, using a thin metal palette knife or spatula, remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Store in airtight containers.


  1. never heard of "cake flour" but i agree.. all purpose is all purpose for a reason ;)

  2. These sound delicious! I'm imagining enjoying them with a cup of coffee or tea in the afternoon. I also enjoy spiced sweet dishes too.

  3. Wow - I can't believe how much cardamon costs over your side of the world. I also love your cookie squashing device - nice one!

  4. I love sweet cardamon dishes so I will be trying this recipe... so tired of all my regular boring biscuits. Well done!