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Spices of Historical Significance:
Green Cardamom Pods, Coriander, Allspice, and Nutmeg
Buy This at Allposters.com
La Belle Cuisine
Craig Claiborne’s Cardamom Cookies
Maida Heatter's Brand-New
Book of Great Cookies
by Maida Heatter, 1995, Random House
“Craig is my hero. [He is one of
ours, too!] Not only is he my all-time favorite cookbook author, but even if he
had never written a recipe, I would love him
as much. This delicious cookie
is from his book, ‘An Herb and Spice
Cookbook’, which was published in 1963.
Did you ever use cardamom? I did, but I never really tasted it until I tried
this recipe. This time, instead of buying ground cardamom, I bought the
and peeled and ground them myself just before using. There is
in flavor – involved and exotic but mellow.
I have often bought packaged cookies and thought the texture of the cookies
divine. I read the ingredients to see if I could find out what was responsible
for the texture. The list of ingredients included so many strange names of
chemicals that I didn’t have a clue as to what had made them so crisp, flaky,
sandy, and light. Well, these cookie have that same elusive texture but no
These are lovely, simple cookies with an unusual flavor and texture – once
have prepared the cardamom (it takes a few minutes), they are quick
A few teaspoonfuls whole cardamom
(to make 1/2 teaspoon ground)
2 1/4 cups sifted unbleached flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 packed cup light brown sugar
1 egg graded “large”
Adjust a rack to the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to
degrees F. Line cookie sheets with baking parchment or aluminum foil,
side up; set aside.
The cardamom pods may be green or bleached. The green will have a
little more flavor than the bleached, but they’re both good. To prepare
them, work on a cutting board. With a sharp knife cut a few teaspoon-
of the pods
in half the long way. Then either shake the seeds (they
be black and/or
gray) out of the shells, or, if necessary, use the point
a small knife to
nudge them out. Discard the shells. Grind the seeds in
an electric grinder; you
could use a coffee grinder or a pepper mill (I
use a Cuisinart Mini-Mate).
Strain through a fine sieve. Measure 1/2 teaspoon; set aside.
Sift together the flour and cream of tartar; set aside.
In the small or large bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter
Add the ground cardamom, baking soda, and salt; beat to mix. Beat in the sugar, then the egg. Finally, on low speed, add the sifted dry ingredients
and beat until incorporated.
Flour a pastry cloth and a rolling pin. Work with half the dough
at a time.
Roll out the dough until it is 1/4 inch thick. Cut with a round
(I use a 2-inch round cutter). Place the cookies 1 1/2 inches
apart on the lined sheets.
Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes, reversing the
sheet front to back once after 5 minutes. The cookies will rise and puff up
during baking, and then they will begin to settle down a bit just when they
done. When done, they will be a light-golden honey color all over.
With a wide metal spatula transfer to racks to cool; when cool,
an airtight container.
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