Smokey Cardamom Ginger Molasses Cookies

The day December hits, right on schedule, visions of Christmas cookies are dancing in my head. I love peanut blossoms, pretty linzer squares, chocolatey chili cookies – and especially a wintery spice cookie.

I don’t have one that in particular that I normally make, so this caught my eye when I saw it: Carey Nershi’s Smokey Cardamom Ginger Molasses Cookies on Food52. It had me at black cardamom; which if green cardamom is the Queen of Spices, black cardamom is the sophisticated, mellowed, and camphorous Queen Mother. This recipe not only uses the seeds as part of the spices but infuses the butter with the pods.

I have adapted nothing about this recipe – I EVEN procured bread flour when AP would probably suffice, but after some light Googling I learned bread flour is higher in protein and therefore yields chewier baked goods – but I wanted to share it because it’s spicy and lovely and will likely become a regular part of my Christmas cookie repertoire.

Smokey Cardamom Ginger Molasses Cookies

From Smokey Cardamom Ginger Molasses Cookies on Food52

  • 14 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Spices: 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 black cardamom pods
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar (for rolling)

Crack open cardamom pods and remove the seeds. Grind seeds with a mortar and pestle and set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine butter and empty cardamom pods and heat on medium low until butter is melted and slightly foamy. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 30 minutes.

Remove the cardamom pods and transfer butter to a mixing bowl; let cool to room temperature.

Whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, reserved cardamom and the rest of the spices.

Add the sugar to the butter and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses and the egg. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.

Prepare a baking sheet with silpat or parchment and preheat oven to 375° F. Put 1/2 cup sugar for rolling in a small bowl. Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter, form into balls, and roll in the sugar. Place two inches apart on the baking sheet.

Bake cookies in batches for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

These were delicious straight from the oven, but chewier and even more delicious after a couple of days. Happy holidays!