Last Updated on May 20, 2015 by Chef Mireille
While most of the Western dessert eating world uses ground cinnamon as the standard spice in most dessert for anything from cookies to cake to strudel to apple pie, this is not the case in many different countries. In South Asia, the Middle East and Scandinavia, cardamom is the most common spice in desserts. In my opinion, it is one of the most fragrant of spices.
There are two types – green cardamom and black cardamom. While black cardamom is used more often in savory dishes, green cardamom is used in both savory and desserts. Cardamom are pods. The green cardamom are shown here. In savory dishes like Biryani, the meal is cooked with the whole pod. It will open up during the cooking process and the flavor from the seeds will infuse the dish. To make ground cardamom, the seeds are removed from the pods and ground to a powder.
To introduce you to the wonderful world of cardamom, here is a super simple recipe for Cardamom Cookies, which I developed some years back and make often:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2/3 cup sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 baking sheets, shaking off excess flour.
In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and cardamom.
Using an electric mixer or Kitchen Aid, beat egg until frothy. Add melted butter and sugar. Beat for a few minutes until well combined and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, fold in dry ingredients until you have a soft dough (see photo).
Using a teaspoon, place heaping teaspoons of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets and bake in oven for about 12-14 minutes, until golden. Let cookies set for about 3 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Enjoy with a cup of tea!!!