Sweet, Chewy, & Spicy
This cookie has its origins in a Pennsylvania Dutch treat that my mother loved to bake, and we loved to eat, called molasses crinkles. Named for the lovely sugar encrusted crevices that magically appear while baking. These all at once soft and chewy Indianish cardamom spice cookies are a must with your next cup of tea. You are going to need to hide them from your cookie monsters if you want any left for yourself.
Since most kitchens don’t have molasses, I have swapped out honey for molasses with no ill effects. If you have molasses, use it of course. If you use honey, what you miss from the sweet-bitter notes of molasses is more than made up for by the heady mix of spices, and background notes of heat from the ground black pepper.
Cardamom Spice Cookies (Indian-ish)
- 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom ~ Ideally freshly toasted and ground
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon table or sea salt
- 1/3 cup granulated white sugar ~ + 1/4 extra for rolling the cookies in
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar ~ Packed
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter ~ 1 1/2 sticks -- softened but still cool
- 1 large egg yolk ~ See Note below
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- 1/2 cup molasses ~ Or honey
- Make sure you remove the butter from the refrigerator to soften up a bit.
- Gather all your ingredients.
- Heat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices and salt.
- In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars on medium-high until light and fluffy. This step will take about 3 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla and beat until well mixed, just 30 seconds. A hand held beater will also work well but will take a little longer for the creaming step.
- Reduce your mixer speed to medium-low and add the molasses or honey. Beat another 30 seconds until blended.
- Add the flour and spice mix, starting on low, and then move up to medium-low just until all the flour is moistened. Scrape down the mixing bowl as needed. The dough will be soft.
- Measure out 30-gram balls, approximately 1 1/2 inches across. Roll in white sugar and place on a lined baking sheet, 1 1/2 inches apart.
- Bake one cookie sheet at a time until browned and the puffy center has just flattened out. The cookies should still seem just a bit underdone, with soft centers. Set your timer for 10 minutes. In my oven these cookies take a little over 12 minutes.
- Cool cookies on baking sheet for at least 5 minutes, so they firm up before removing to a wire rack.
- Keeping: These cardamom spice cookies will store well at room temperature in an airtight container for at least 5 days. They will be fine in the freezer for several months if you have successfully hidden them from your cookie monsters.
- If you prefer to go eggless, just skip the egg yolk. Cardamom spice cookies will be a bit crunchier than chewy, but that does not diminish their spicy deliciousness.