Cardamom Cookies – Three Ways

Monday’s and Wednesday’s posts discussing my various tribulations as a runner sure left me hungry. Hungry for what, you ask? Cookies of course! But I couldn’t just stop at one recipe could I? No sir – I had to make three! So began my journey into Cardamom Cookie-dom: Three cookies, same name, all very different outcomes.

Behold:

The Goods

A little background before we begin: I am of Swedish descent (in case the head of blonde hair wasn’t your first clue). Both sets of great-grandparents came over from the homeland and procreated four generations all the way to me (yay!). I do try to embrace my heritage; I love ABBA and all those Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books, hell, I could live in IKEA, and I even have a couple of those Swedish horses laying around the house. Alas, aside from the inaudible Swedish Chef (and who doesn’t love him?), the culinary aspect of my Swedish ancestry does not excite me.

The finest Sweden has to offer!

This is not without trying mind you, I’ve tried Korv – too bland for me. I actually kind of like Lutfisk but no one else does so I gave up on that, and if you have ever had the pleasure of putting Sill in your mouth, I assure you that is reason enough to give up Swedish fare for good. Swedish meatballs & Swedish fish are both quite tasty, but I feel like I can do better than balls of meat in gravy and corn syrup minnows.

Randomly, my parent’s were kind enough to bring me back a boat load of seasonings from their latest vacation where they took a detour to Penzys Spices – a veritable spice mecca for super quality herbs and spices. Since I don’t have the mad dolla’ bills to drop on the expensive stuff, such as saffron and cardamom, I was thrilled at this bounty they brought back for me. No puka shell necklaces and lame t-shirts for this girl, I’ll take spices in lieu of tacky souvenirs any day.

You can imagine my delight, while rummaging for a recipe to utilize my newly acquired goods, when I came across a recipe for traditional Swedish Cardamom Cookies. Could it be? A delicious recipe of Swedish origin that I can be proud of? I had to try. Since I had an abundance of cardamom that I wanted to use before it went bad, I decided to try a few other recipes as well. (If you’ve never had the pleasure of having anything spiced with cardamom, think chai tea-ish.).

Cardamom Cookies – Three Ways:

Swedish Cardamom Cookies Take One

(Adapted from food.com)

Yields: 24 cookies (I halved the original recipe)

Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 large egg, room temperature (whip an egg in a bowl and use half)
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar colored with food coloring (pick a color, any color – I happened to be feeling red)

Directions:

  1. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer until smooth
  2. Add in the egg, vanilla, cardamom, and zest until combined.
  3. Slowly add the flour until a soft dough is formed – kudos if you can keep it all in the bowl!
  4. Place dough onto a 12- inch long sheet of plastic wrap and, using the plastic, shape into a 8-inches long by 2-inches in diameter logs, like so:

    Cookie log! Nomnomnom

  5. Refrigerate the dough log for at least 2 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 325°.
  7. Scatter the colored sugar on a plate and roll the logs until completely coated.
  8. Cut into 1/4-inch thick cookies and space about 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets – like this:
  9. Bake until golden around the edges, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  10. Cool cookies on the pan. Remove to airtight container.

Cardamom Cookies Take Two

(adapted from strawberryspice)

Yields: 2 dozen-ish

Difficulty: Medium Easy

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Crystallized sugar for rolling (I used Sugar in the Raw)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Sift together flour and cream of tartar in a medium bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter, cardamom, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add brown sugar and beat until well combined.
  5. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  6. Gradually stir in flour mixture.
  7. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in granulated sugar and flatten the cookie slightly with two fingers, like so:
  8. Bake for 10 minutes, until cookies are a light, golden brown. Let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing them a wire rack to finish cooling.

Cardamom Cookies Take Three

Adapted from Taste of Home

Yields: 36 cookies (half recipe)

Difficulty: Medium Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1&1/4 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1&3/4 cups all-purpose flour – 1/4 more if the dough is too sticky
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, cream butter and half the powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in extract.
  • In another bowl, combine the flour, cardamom and salt.
  • Gradually add flour mixture to the creamed mixture.
  • Stir in walnuts.
  • Roll into 1-in. balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 15-17 minutes or until edges are golden – see below:
  • Roll warm cookies in remaining confectioners’ sugar. Cool on wire racks.

Now, the last two recipes don’t tote themselves as being Swedish, per say, but they are cookies with cardamom so I hereby designate them so. My favorite? Take Two on its own, Take One with coffee or tea. Take Three was good as well, very similar to a shortbread, I just happened to like the other two better. If you get bored this weekend, and happen to have some cardamom just begging to be used, you should definitely give these suckers a whirl and let me know your favorites.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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10 thoughts on “Cardamom Cookies – Three Ways

  1. Oh man…sweets are a gift and a curse! They are the reason I run…so I can eat more…which reminds me…girl scout cookies are going to be in hand tomorrow! PS…don’t you dare dismiss Swedish fish and meatballs ever again…JK…but they are both awesome!

  2. Great that you got to experiment with some Swedish spices! Having just moved to Sweden I have been loving my new Swedish cuisine – especially all the pastries! Oh and the Lingonberry! Whenever I think of Cardamom I think of Semla! Mmm. Maybe I’ll give these cookies a go!

    • Yay! A real Swedish resident! If you do give the cookies a whirl, please let me know what you think! Hopefully they are up to par.

      I would love to know some of your favorite Swedish food – maybe I can experiment with some new recipes 😉

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