Thursday, December 18, 2008

Twinkle, Twinkle


Confession: I'm not much of a sugar cookie fan. They're just a bit boring generally. I do love this recipe that I found on Annie's blog last year - the almond extract really adds that necessary little je ne c'est quoi :)
These are another great option for people who are bored with basic sugar cookies. The cardamom adds a lovely almost flowery taste. It's also quickly becoming one of my new favourite kitchen scents. I kept wafting the bottle under my nose as I was making the dough for these.
I found these to be rather reminiscent of lavender shortbread. Yum!

Cardamom Sugar Stars

Yield: About 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
Cookies ~
1 7/8 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (yes, I halved the original recipe and ended up with a wonky amount. Could have been worse...)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (room temp)
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 egg
1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract (no, that's not a typo! It should be 1/2 tablespoon)

Spice Mixture ~
1/8 cup sugar or sparkling sugar (see note below)
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom

Method:
*Note: You will need to refrigerate the dough overnight so keep that in mind before starting these.

1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

2. Cream the butter, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 tsp. cardamom in a large bowl. Beat in the egg and vanilla then mix in the flour mixture until it is just blended. Knead the dough by hand just until it is smooth. Divide the dough into two pieces; shape into flat rounds. Cover the rounds and refrigerate until firm enough to roll (overnight or up to two days).

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator (one round at a time) and let it stand at room temperature until it is soft enough to roll but still firm. Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper to about 1/8-inch thickness. If the dough gets too soft at any time, you can return it to the fridge until it's firm.

4. Use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the dough (it's helpful to dip the cutter in flour to help prevent sticking). Reroll leftover scraps. Repeat with remaining dough.

5. Combine all the spice mixture ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle over the cookies. Bake 8-10 minutes or until pale golden brown at the edges. Let cool on wire racks.

These cookies can be made ahead. According to the original recipe, you can make them a month ahead and store them in airtight containers. I like to freeze my baked cookies.

Sparkling sugar:
I actually found sparkling sugar at Michaels (Wilton brand).
You can also order it from the following places:
King Arthur Flour
Fancy Flours
Great News
If you can't find it, you could sub regular granulated sugar or turbinado.

Reference:
Cardamom Sugar Stars by Alice Medrich. I found this recipe in the December 2007/January 2008 issue of Cooking Pleasures Magazine.
I didn't change anything this time around but I'm interested in trying different extracts (orange or almond? I think either of those would work with the sweet cardamom) or maybe subbing in cinnamon for the cardamom.

1 comment:

Joelen said...

I like that you used cardamom. I'm currently gathering recipes using this spice so I can justify buying it at the store and so it doesn't just sit around when I do have it on hand! :)