Cinnamon-Cardamom Snickerdoodles

Have you ever wanted to stop time? In one month I return to the world of deadlines and reporting, ending my nine months of blissful maternity leave.  I wish I could slow the days. I will definitely relish them. Gabi and I  have plans to live it up this next month, with trips to the park, perhaps her first dip in the pool, and hours spent playing on the floor. And when she’s napping, I plan to bake.

I made these snickerdoodles for Betsy and her daughter, Ava, who stopped by today. I loved the idea of mixing cinnamon with aromatic cardamom. The result is a subtle twist. These snickerdoodles reminded me of the ones my grandmother used to bake, but with a hint something more: the warm, sweetness of cardamom.

A word on cardamom. To get the seeds, you must first open the pods, which isn’t a big deal. You just pry them open like you would sunflower seeds. Inside each pod are tiny little seeds that begin losing their flavor once they’re ground. Using cardamom that’s already ground would be easier, but you won’t end up with the same flavor. Grind the seeds with a mortar and pestle, a spice grinder or mini food processor.

I’m sure Gabi will someday love snickerdoodles as much as I do. I’m glad Betsy and Ava could be part of our month-long party.

Cinnamon-Cardamom Snickerdoodles

2 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Spiced Sugar
2 teaspoons cardamom seeds, from about 20 pods (I used 25 pods)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Position oven racks in the center and top third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Sift together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Beat the butter and sugar in a medium-size bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until the mixture is light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. One at a time, beat in the eggs, then the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low. In four equal additions, add the flour mixture, beating the dough until it is smooth after each addition.

To make the spiced sugar, combine the ground cardamom, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Using a level tablespoon of dough for each cookie, roll the dough into walnut-sized balls. A few at a time, toss the balls in the spiced sugar to coat, and place about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Sprinkle the top of each cookie with about 1/8 teaspoon of the spiced sugar.

Bake until the edges of the cookies are crisp and lightly browned, but the centers are still a bit soft, switching the positions of the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, about 10 minutes. Cool on the sheets for a few minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire cake rack to cool completely. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

*** Ovens vary. The cookies I baked for 20 minutes were too crisp. I removed the second batch after 17 minutes, and they turned out perfectly, with crisp edges and soft centers.


1 Response to “Cinnamon-Cardamom Snickerdoodles”

  1. 1 Btaylor
    May 28, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Hey, those cookies look familiar! I’m enjoying your blog and think your food photography looks good. I’ll ask the Jedi Master to provide some photo feedback if you’d like. See you soon!

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