Is there anyone out there who don't like cardamom? I love the smell of the cardamom and try to sneak it in anything possible....You can add them in anything imaginable from cookies, Kulfi’s, tea, desserts, kheers, sweets, fudge and cakes to rice, curries, smoothies and even pickles!...anything and everything you could imagine. It is such a versatile ingredient with a very sweet smell, that it makes one of the best flavouring ingredients in most of the dishes especially for desserts. The other day I was preparing some Arabic Rice ‘Machbous’ and I ran out of cardamom powder and had to grind some fresh ones. The smell of the ground cardamoms left me craving for some cardamom cookies that we used to get back in India. I guess it’s the ‘Good-day’ brand cookies that are unavailable here or may be available in some remote unreachable Indian grocers.
So I looked upon net for any recipes that uses cardamom and pistachio combo and came up with these. Oh my! The cookies were simply delicious and divine much better than I thought and I just loved it to core. Pistachio and cardamom paired perfectly. The texture was light and melt-in mouth type- not hard, not crunchy but very light texture, somewhat like a very good butter cookie. I have added more cardamom here than the recommended amount, but that’s up to you how much to add! The cookies had a light green hue from the pistachios which made it look soooo pretty! Since my son loves shapes, I cut them into different shapes to make it more appealing for him. I tell you, these are one of the best cookies ever and a definite keeper. I got around 28 medium sized cookies. You can view the original recipe which is double the amount given here.
I started taking the pictures when I started, then I forgot to take the pictures as I continued! So I just have two pictures that I captured in the beginning of the process until I mixed the sugar. Sorry about that, but I am sure you will be able to follow the recipe because it is a straight forward and a simple recipe.
Pistachio and Cardamom Cookies
Makes around 28 medium size cookies
Adapted from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska
½ cup pistachios
½ cup – ½ cup plus 2 TBSP castor sugar (Depending on the sweetness you prefer)
½ cup butter, at room temperature
1 medium egg
1 cup + 4 Tablespoons Plain flour, plus extra to flour the Rolling surface
3 Tbsp corn flour
1/8 tsp salt
¾ tsp freshly ground cardamoms
½ tsp vanilla essence
Granulated sugar to sprinkle on the cookies
Few pistachio halves for garnishing
1. Finely grind pistachios and sugar in a Grinder. You can leave it slightly coarse if you wish.
2. Cream butter and half of pistachio-sugar mixture till smooth using a wooden spoon.
3. Beat in the egg and vanilla essence and mix wel scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in remaining pista-sugar mixture and stir till smooth.
4. Sift plain flour, corn flour and salt in a bowl. Add the flour mixture to the above wet mixture and mix to form a soft pliable dough and is not at all sticky. You may add a tablespoon more if need be.
5. Pre heat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Line a cookie sheet with baking paper
6. Flour a clean surface and roll the dough using a rolling pin that is also coated with flour to avoid sticking. Roll to a thickness of 8mm-9mm and cut using floured cookie cutters to desired shapes. Lift it carefully using a palette knife or a simple knife and place on the cookie sheet. Slightly push a pistachio in the centre of each prepared cookie and sprinkle the cookies with coarse suagr crystals or granulated sugar. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until the bottom edge starts to turn slightly golden. I baked for 11 minutes exactly, but the timing will differ from oven to oven. After cutting the first batch of cookies, there will be left over dough. Form it into a ball and roll it and flatten it again and cut into desired shapes until all the dough is used up. You can just make a ball and flatten it for the last bit of dough. Once they are baked, leave them in the sheet for 3-4 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool them off completely. Once completely cooled, store them in air tight containers. These are perfect with a cup of tea And if you prefer you can have it with cardamom infused tea!
I have halved the original recipe. The original recipe calls for a large egg, and I substituted it with a medium egg. So I had to add more flour to make a pliable dough that I could roll. The dough was soft still, but manageable with the amount of flour of flour used. So I tried chilling the half part of the dough to make it slightly firmer and easier to roll without sticking. The result was exactly the same with no difference at all. So you may chill the dough and roll it.
You may use ½ cup of sugar if you like it less sweet, else add ¾ cup of sugar to make it sweet. I used ½ a cup of sugar here, but would love it slightly sweeter.