Friday, January 18, 2013


I made these cookies last Christmas and never managed to take a photo of them. I made them again this Christmas and only remembered to get a picture of them when they were already placed on the Christmas Eve cookie trays, ready to be devoured. So the photo isn’t the best, but honestly, they’re very homely cookies. It doesn’t help that I can’t seem to manage to get the shape to resemble the illustration in the original Sunset recipe—last year they spread so much that the two ends of the horseshoe fused together (A said they looked like butts), and this year they didn’t flatten out at all (A said they looked like turds). I’m not sure why they have to be in a horseshoe shape; I’m tempted to give up on it entirely next time, but then they’d just be plain brown circles, which could look even less tempting. At least I can pretend this odd shape has some sort of charming traditional Scandinavian significance. Plus, they resemble the letter C, which seems very apropos: C is for “cookie,” and “cardamom,” and “Christmas.”

Anyone who’s actually brave enough to grab one of these unglamorous blobs off the platter is in for a rare treat, at least if they like cardamom, which fortunately many of my family members do. As I’ve mentioned many times, I adore the stuff and am always adding it to recipes that don’t call for it, so it’s refreshing to see it featured so prominently. This is a serious dose of cardamom in a simple, buttery cookie. The recipe seems a bit odd—it doesn’t have many of the usual cookie ingredients, like eggs, salt, or vanilla—I promise you, it works. These have already become a family favorite, and buttlike, turdlike, or plain-Jane as they may look, they’re part of my holiday ritual now.

P.S. I finally got around to adding a button to my posts to convert them into a friendlier format for printing! I was printing off some recipes from other blogs today and lamenting how annoying it is when that feature isn’t available, forcing me to print a lot of unnecessary material spread over many pages or paste the recipe into Word and print from there. Then I realized that I’m a huge hypocrite because that’s exactly what I put people through with my own blog. (I guess I’m still in denial that anyone might be reading, let alone cooking from, this site.) Or perhaps you’re all cool and modern and you don’t print things anymore and you just cook directly from your iPad or phone or whatever? Well, la-di-dah. But this button also converts the posts to a PDF and lets you email them to yourself, so you might still find it useful. See what a nice friend I am?

1 cup (8 ounces) butter, at room temperature
⅔ cup sugar
1 tablespoon dark molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Add molasses and beat until well blended.

2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cardamom, and cinnamon. Beat into butter mixture until well blended. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill until dough is firm, about 1 hour.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. With lightly floured hands, roll each ball into a rope about 2½ inches long and ½ inch thick; bend each rope into a horseshoe. Place cookies about 2 inches apart on parchment-lined or buttered baking sheets.

5. Bake cookies just until edges begin to brown, 7 to 9 minutes; rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on pans for 5 minutes, then use a spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely.

Yields: About 3 dozen
Time: 1½ hours
Leftover potential: Good; freeze well

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