Cardamom Ginger Snaps

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…

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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.

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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…

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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!

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Cardamom Ginger Snaps

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda, and spices.
  2. With a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl.
  3. Add egg, fresh ginger, vanilla extract & molasses and mix.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix. You may need to use a spatula at this point! Dough should be thick!
  5. Scooping a spoonful at a time, roll the dough in your hands to make a ball.
  6. Drop the ball in the sugar coating mixture and roll around until coated.
  7. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet
  8. 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.
  9. 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…

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Chewy Delicious Cookies

Every now and then…wait…more like once a week…I get a craving for some cookies. Alex stumbled upon this recipe and the first time we made it we just looked at each other with wide eyes like “oh cookie where have you been all my life?” Ya’ll know I am not much of a cookbook girl, more of a blog-pinterest-make it up myself, kind of girl-so had he not tried these I probably never would have tried the recipe myself. Thank God for husbands who like to follow recipes. Rebel girl here. Anyways. After we made the cookies a few times we have tweaked a few things to make them match up more with our real foodie lifestyle, ya know. Good stuff.

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Now. I will warn you, these are highly, highly, HIGHLY addictive. I have been known to eat 4-5 in one sitting. I a humbly admitting this to you so that you don’t have to feel bad if you do the same. We’re paddling the same boat. No guilt. Tell yourself how much better these are for you than chemical laden alternatives that line the shelf of the stores. And we all know that most people can down a 1/2 dozen oreos in no time. *(Ps-that was not a hatin on Oreos sentence, I am just sayin…)

The other fun thing about these cookies is that they are entirely customizable. If you are a plain jane like me, I like just chocolate chips. Alex likes what we consider “trail mix” cookies with dried fruit, nuts and chocolate. Both entirely good. So add what you want, possibilities are endless for your “add-ins”. If you really want to be a rebel add some additional spices, such as nutmeg. Mmm. Just no oregano or anything like that, k?

Alright enough fluff. Here’s the recipe.

Chewy Delicious Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup sprouted flour (or combination of whole wheat and All-Purpose flour)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled *(If you use a cup or less of add-ins you can reduce butter to 4T).
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses (don’t skip this!)
  • 1/2 cup to 11/2 cups Add-Ins (such as chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, dried fruit, etc.)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Whisk oats, flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda together in a bowl.

2. In large bowl whisk melted butter, egg, vanilla and sugar together until combined.

3. Stir the oat mixture into this wet mix. Then fold in the add-ins.

4. Take approx 1 Tablespoon of dough and with slightly wet hands, roll into a ball and place on cookie sheet.

6. Bake on middle rack in preheated oven for 13-16 minutes (usually closer to the 16 min mark). You want the edges to look set but the middle to look a little underdone. Over baking these will lead to a brittle cookie [bad]. If you slightly under bake them they will turn out chewy and delicious [good]. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5-10 mins before moving to a cooling rack. Don’t try to peel them off right away they will break!

7. Store in an airtight container.

Note: I have gotten word from a friend, Hi Cara!, that these freeze well. I’ve never tried freezing as they hardly make it to the next day. One time I suggested to Alex that we freeze some and he just looked at me. You know, the look, the…”Are you kidding me?” look. So yeah. Maybe if I made a double batch but that’s just dangerous. Lol.

Hope you enjoy!

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-Erica