Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cardamom Shortbread Cookies for a Cloudy Afternoon

Ouuuuuf this cloudy dreary day is quite depressing!

You know what would help? Some quick and easy cookies with a nice hot cup of tea.

Cardamom Shortbread Cookies
(adapted from Shortbread Cookies II on Allrecipes)
(makes 2 dozen cookies)


1 cup butter (softened and cut into 1 inch cubes)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
Strawberry/Blackberry jam (optional)


Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy, stir in vanilla extract and cardamom powder, then mix in the flour.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out little balls of the dough (about 1 - 1 1/2 tbsp each).

Roll into balls, then place on the baking sheet and press down with your fingers to make a little disc.

In some of them, make a little indent with your thumb (for thumb-print cookies!), then fill the indent with a little scoop of the jam of your choice (I used strawberry and blackberry).

Preheat oven to 360F. In the meanwhile, slide the baking sheets w/ cookie dough into the fridge while the oven heats up. I've found that if i don't do this, the dough is too warm when it goes into the oven and it spreads a lot so you end up with a cookie sheet. Tastes the same, but takes away the joy of the cookie.

Pop the cookies into the oven and reduce the heat from 360F to 350F. This is a little trick I use to make sure the oven is at the right temp - when you open the door to pop in the cookies, that lets some of the heat out. Setting it to a slightly higher temp for pre-heating means that it takes less time for the oven to get back up to temp.

Bake for 15-18 minutes. The original recipe says to bake for 10-12 minutes, but I like my cookies to be a little brown and crisp on the bottom - they hold up better when you dip them in tea (which is obviously the best way to eat these cookies). You should be able to tell when they're done by using your sniffer too - you'll be able to smell them from at least 15 feet away!

Remove from oven, let cool (okay you can eat one piping hot even if you burn your fingers - they are so nice and soft and almost gooey - but be careful of the jam!), then serve with tea for dipping!

I like adding cardamom to these basic cookies because it adds a little more depth of flavor and just that one additional dash takes these beyond the ordinary. And the jam is just the frosting on top! (Hm, that doesn't sound quite right does it?). Perfect for a little afternoon snack on a dreary day.

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