My house smells so good right now. I am really craving the fall and winter festivities. The pumpkins, the warmth of spices, curling up on the couch in blankets…cookies…
Alright back to reality…or at least toss out the idea of afternoon naps. Sigh.
I had a craving for some ginger snaps today…random, I know. I think its my subconscious reacting to my poorly digested Mexican food from yesterday. Ginger snaps are one of those things I think you either love or you hate. So if you’re on the hater side, you prob want to skip this recipe. Unless you think you might be cured from your hating by trying my awesome recipe. I claim no cures…
On the other hand, these cookies make a lovely home freshener. Pungent ginger smell mixed with cinnamon and a pop of that super fresh cardamom smell…ahh…it’s good for the dreary day. And the uneasy stomach if you happened to eat something you probably should not have.
Before I proceed with the recipe…I should go ahead and address that look on your face…the “Holy dude what the hay is cardamom?” look. It’s ok, I promise it’s not that scary. And I promise to refrain from all bad jokes regarding moms or cards or anything like that. If you know this amazing spice and its super powers…proceed to the recipe. For the rest of you…
Cardamom is a spice that comes from a plant in the ginger family. (No wonder it tastes so good in these cookies!) The variety I use comes in a small green pod. The seeds inside the pod are what we use for cooking. It’s often used in middle eastern dishes. It’s a very different flavor than you may have experienced before…almost like a spicey, citrus, floraly flavor. It’ truly unique. You gotta try it! There are a couple different types of cardamom, but the kind I use is called green cardamom. It’s not that hard to find in stores, although I think you would have best of luck finding it Indian food stores or in stores like Whole Foods in the bulk section. I recommend that you only buy it in the whole pod form. They sell ground cardamom, but this is one of those spices that you loose a TON of flavor after its been ground. Soo, it means more work for you but its worth it. So how do you work with these strange little things? First off, each pod has about 6-8 seeds in it. The easiest way to get these seeds out is to gently smash the pod with the side of a chef knife. Then use your fingers to break it open and dump out the seeds! You will then need to crush the seeds a bit as you probably don’t want to bite an entire seed…they are strong tasting! I use a mortar and pestle. You could use a coffee grinder, or even just the blunt end of a butter knife in a cup or bowl that won’t break from you hitting it with metal! Make sense? Just crush the seeds however you can…they aren’t that hard!
Cardamom Ginger Snaps
- 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 6 cardamom pods worth of seeds. About a 1/2 tsp crushed cardamom seeds. (See note above)
- 12 tablespoons butter at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (I find that the microplane does an excellent job!)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup organic molasses
- For coating: 1/4 cup sugar + 1/2 tsp powdered ginger mixed
- In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda, and spices.
- With a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl.
- Add egg, fresh ginger, vanilla extract & molasses and mix.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix. You may need to use a spatula at this point! Dough should be thick!
- Scooping a spoonful at a time, roll the dough in your hands to make a ball.
- Drop the ball in the sugar coating mixture and roll around until coated.
- Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet
- Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 mins. 12 min will yield a softer cookie, if you like crunchy traditional “snap” cookie bake longer…maybe even closer to 16 min.
- Let cookies cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack.
While I was sitting here working on typing up this post earlier, Elyse decided to sneak into the kitchen, get a chair and start chowing down on these. I was obviously too focused. I eventually caught her…this is her running away with a handful of cookies laughing her head off. Oh children…