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Monday, April 2, 2012

Craig Claiborne's Cardamom Crisp Cookies




From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This lovely adult cookie is Maida Heatter's riff on Craig Claiborne's Cardamon Crisps. The recipe for the cookies  first appeared in his book, An Herb and Spice Cookbook, and she included it in her  book, The Brand-New Book of Great Cookies.  The cookies have an unusual taste and a unique texture that comes from the addition of cardamom and cream of tartar. Their texture is a bit like that of a ginger snap, but they taste more like the Dutch spice cookies called  speculaas. Maida  Heatter's recipe calls for grinding  fresh cardamom seeds. If you really enjoy European cookies, I hope you will try her recipe as it is written. The cookies are wonderfully fragrant when made with the freshly ground spice. Unfortunately, my life doesn't always afford me  time to grind the seeds, so I can assure you the recipe works well even if you use a commercial  spice powder.  The cookies should be rolled and cut, but I have found it faster and much easier  to form the dough into small 1-inch balls that can be  flattened directly on cookie sheets that are lined with parchment paper. I use the palm of my hand or a cookie embosser  to flatten the balls to a thickness of  1/4-inch.  Baking time must be increased if you make your cookies any thicker thicker than that. The cookies are great keepers when stored in an  airtight container, but I suspect they'll be gone long before they can stale.  They are wonderful with afternoon coffee or tea,  but I love them with a cold glass of milk. I give myself permission to dunk, though I swear I can hear my mother's voice admonishing me whenever I do so. I was never a good listener. I hope you'll try these cookies. Here is Maida Heatter's recipe.

Ingredients:
A few teaspoonfuls whole cardamom (to make 3/4 teaspoon ground)
2-1/4 cup sifted unbleached flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 packed cup light brown sugar
1 large egg

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with baking parchment or aluminum foil, shiny side up; set aside.
2) The cardamom pods may be green or bleached. The green will have a little more flavor than the bleached, but they're both good. To prepare them, work on a cutting board. With a sharp knife cut a few teaspoonfuls of the pods in half the long way. Then either shake the seeds (they will be black and/or gray) out of the shells, or, if necessary, use the point of a small knife to nudge them out. Discard the shells. Grind the seeds in an electric grinder; you could use a coffee grinder or a pepper mill (I use a Cuisinart Mini-Mate). Strain through a fine sieve. Measure 3/4 teaspoon; set aside.
3) Sift together the flour and cream of tartar; set aside.
4) In the small or large bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter until soft. Add the ground cardamom, baking soda, and salt; beat to mix. Beat in the sugar, then the egg. Finally, on low speed, add the sifted dry ingredients and beat until incorporated.
5) Flour a pastry cloth and a rolling pin. Work with half the dough at a time. Roll out the dough until it is 1/4 inch thick. Cut with a round cookie cutter (I use a 2-inch round cutter). Place the cookies 1 1/2 inches apart on the lined sheets.
6) Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes, reversing the sheet front to back once after 5 minutes. The cookies will rise and puff up during baking, and then they will begin to settle down a bit just when they are done. When done, they will be a light-golden honey color all over.
With a wide metal spatula transfer to racks to cool; when cool, store in an airtight container. Yield: 3 dozen cookies.









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32 comments :

Ginny said...

Do you know I have never used this spice and don't really know what it tastes like, I have never tasted it either.

Elin said...

Mary, I dont mind having these cardamon crisps cookies for tea with a cup of brewed coffee...mmmm delicious ! Have a nice day,
Elin

Gloria said...

look really delicious Mary, have a nice day!

Cloudia said...

cardamon is also great for your digestion!


Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

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Pondside said...

I love the flavour of caramom so I'll probably try these. They sound lovely.

Martha said...

I'll take some with tea! They sound like an interesting cookie and I can relate to not always having time to do things like grinding seeds but I think it would be an intriguing thing to do. Thanks for sharing!

Sue/the view from great island said...

I love the flavor of cardamom, but I've never ground it myself. I bet these smell amazing.

What's Baking?? said...

I'm curious as to what's the taste is like with cardamon in it. Looks perfectly baked and i'm sure this is good. Bookmarking this.

Red Nomad OZ said...

Cardamom is one of the most underrated spices in my humble antipodean opinion!

tender b. said...

I love the idea of herb and spiced cookies. I'll have to check out that cookbook.

Jenn said...

Oooh... I can't wait to share this recipe with a friend of mine. She raves about these cardamom cookies she had on a trip last year... I bet these are close to what she had! As always, thanks for sharing!

Barbara said...

Once again, we are on the same wave length, Mary. I just copied the URL of a cardamom cookie recipe and put it in my file. (http://www.browniebites.net/browned-butter-cardamom-tea-cookies/)
I'm going to compare the recipes, although you know I think ALL Maida Heatter recipes are perfection. She generous with her credits, too. Her Craig Claiborne cheese cake is a killer recipe.

mr. pineapple man said...

My husband would love this! And that crumb cake~ mmmmmmm!!

Balvinder Ubi said...

You know cardamom is my favourite condiment. I use it in savory and sweet dishes. These cookies would be flavorful.

Suzie said...

I have never used cardamom myself. Until recently we couldn't even get it. Then I finally seen it at my local store but, could not bring myself to pay $14.86 for a small jar :( Your cookies look great though.

Namitha said...

Love these cookies :) Cardamom is my most favorite spice !

Kitchen Riffs said...

Maida Heatter is a kitchen goddess. Her recipes are great, always work, often inventive. This looks like a seriously good cookie. And, as you say, an adult cookie - my fav. Thanks so much for this.

Victoria said...

Hello Mary! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for your kind comment:)

These cookies look so good! I've never used cardamom before but your photo's have piqued my interest!

Jane said...

After reading all these comments, I need to find some cardamon, I have never seen the actual pods of cardamon! And brew a cup of tea and enjoy! They look so delicious!

All Things Yummy said...

I don't think I've ever had anything with cardamom. I'll have to try it.

ImSoVintage said...

I bet these would be perfect with a cup of green tea in the afternoon. :)

A Seasonal Cook in Turkey said...

I just love your plate in this pic!

A Paixão da Isa said...

bem para mim pode ser uma duzia ok? hummm eles estao muito bonitos parabens bjs

http://platanosmangoes.com said...

I have some pods and have only used them with tea...I can just imagine how wonderful they must taste.

ARLENE said...

I have several of Maida H's cookbooks, but don't remember this recipe. Since I adore speculas (and Biscoff), I'm sure I'd love these. I must also tell you I love your plate. I'm a quilter/embroiderer and that blanket stitch around the plate is wonderful!

Rosita Vargas said...

María como siempre su realización es bellísima se ven muy deliciosas y tentadoras,abrazos hugs,hugs.

The Café Sucré Farine said...

I know these would not last long around my house - I would have to hide them from myself!

Joanne said...

these remind me almost of snickerdoodles but with cardamom instead of cinnamon! Yum.

Pure Complex said...

I don't cook with cardamom much, but these cookies definitely look wonderful enough to eat any day of the week. So its time to start baking with cardamom lol

purecomplex.com said...

I don't cook with cardamom much at all, but I can definitely see trying it out to make cookies divine as this

Dining Alone said...

This is great because cardamom is one of those things you have in your pantry and can never seem to figure out what to do with. This is a great idea!

BeetleBuggy said...

Lovely cookies, Mary! In India, we have a lot of cardamon spiced dishes and even tea. I can just imagine how good these cookies smell and taste.

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