Intensely cleansing, sharply sweet, very slightly smoky with a hint of citrus and a background of wood.
This is what almost instantly wafts, enticingly, ready to be sniffed for more like a drug, when I open a jar of cardamom (the small green variety, the fresher the better). It is not an easy scent to describe, probably because it is such a good bedfellow to both sweet and savoury. Fortunately though it is an aroma I just can’t get enough of, so I was happy to inhale away to try to pin down a description for you.
Until I bought Tessa Kiros’s book Falling Cloudberries, I never realised cardamom was so widely used in Scandinavia. Having now tried many Scandinavian cardamom recipes, I can’t understand why I hadn’t thought of it before; but then my childhood foodie and cultural interests were always planted firmly in India, so maybe I’m not so surprised it has taken me a while to figure this out afterall.
Anyway, these buttery, sweetly lemony, delicately cardamomy morsels (it is better to keep them small I think) are moreish-beyond-belief, and go very nicely with the lemon posset I had at our New Year’s feast.
Makes about 50 smallish biscuits (about the size of Maryland cookies).
All that is left from our batch; just as well my January diet doesn’t start until tomorrow!
Cater sugar – 100g (plus a bit extra for dusting)
Unsalted butter – 200g
Plain flour – 250g
Baking powder – ½ teaspoon
Zest and juice of 2 lemons (smallish ones)
Ground cardamom – 1 teaspoon
A pinch of salt
- Cream together the butter and the sugar.
- Add the lemon juice and zest, and mix to a paste.
- Add everything else (via a sieve to ensure you don’t have lumps of flour or woody bits from the cardamom).
- Place the dough between two sheets of baking parchment and roll out thinly to about 5mm (the dough will be too sticky to do this without the paper).
- Chill for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Cut out your cookies and place on a lined baking tray, and then sprinkle each of them with caster sugar.
- Bake for about 8 minutes until they are lightly golden (remember that if a biscuit looks done in the oven, it will be overdone as soon as you take it out).
- Leave them to cool on a wire rack, if you can!
My new cake and biscuit tin collection, only I don’t think I am ever going to bake enough to fill them; I eat everything too quickly