Cardamom Spice Cookies


I am about to say something that many of you will consider blasphemous: I don’t love chocolate.

There’s nothing wrong with chocolate. I like it fine, but it’s just not a flavor that gets me excited. I’ll eat (and enjoy) the occasional chocolate chip cookie or square of dark chocolate, but I can’t make it through a whole brownie. My sister will likely faint when I say this, but my least favorite dessert in the world is flourless chocolate cake. And don’t even get me started on fudge. Yuck!

To be fair, I’m not much of a sweets person. I prefer my “naughty” calories in an extra scoop of pasta, another glass of wine, or a hunk of good cheese. But if I am going in for something sweet, my first choice will always be something spiced. I’d rather eat an oatmeal raisin cookie perfumed with cinnamon, a slice of pumpkin bread, or a few gingersnaps than a decadent chocolate number.

I bake with chocolate because other people love it. And I love other people and making them happy. When I bake just for me, however, these cookies are my go-to. Simple, easy, loaded with warm spices. Plus, they keep for a week or two in a Ziploc bag, so I can eat one when I feel like it without a sugar overload (if my husband doesn’t get to them first!).

These cookies are great on their own, but they’re also spectacular paired this banana-pistachio ice cream for an exotic yet familiar dessert that will excite even the staunchest of chocolate supporters.

Cardamom Spice Cookies
Serves: Makes 2 dozen
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom, more for sprinkling
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoons very soft butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  1. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk oil, butter, and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk in molasses, then egg.  Stir in dry ingredients.
  3. Form dough into 2-tablespoon portions and set cookies about 2 ½ inches apart on a silpat- or parchment-lined 18- by 12-inch rimmed baking sheet. (Figure about 8 cookies per sheet). Bake until puffed slightly, golden brown around the edges, and starting to crackle about 10 minutes if baking 1 sheet and about 12 minutes for 2 sheets. Don’t over bake! (If you’re baking 2 sheets at a time, switch positions after 7 or 8 minutes.)
  4. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, sprinkle a little ground cardamom on top of each one. Allow cookies to cool on the sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cooled cookies can be stored in an air-tight container for up to a week.
Make sure you use very soft—not melted!—butter. If you can, leave it on the counter for a few hours or overnight. If you have to quickie-soften your butter in the microwave and melt some in the process, you may need to add a little more flour to make the dough hang together. Just add enough flour that the dough will hold a very soft ball.

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  1. says

    These cookies’ flavor and texture are spot-on, Sharon. They’re crisp and chewy, but unlike a lot of cookies they retain that crisp-chewy texture for days. These are the perfect accompaniment with my daily afternoon cup of tea.

  2. Amy l says

    I love cookie recipes that make 1 or 2 dozen, so I know it won’t take long to make them, and cardamom is one of my favorit spices.

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