Posted by: thedirtybaker | December 29, 2011

Cardamomtaaz!

Cardamomtazzies!

Momtaaz is Arabic for “excellent.”  Yes, I just made an Arablish wordplay,  and I’m proud of it!  And these Cardamom Brown Sugar Snickerdoodles about absolutely deserve this sort of name.  From now on, at the Cinnamon Girl Bakery, they are cardamomtazzies.

Doug Kornreich sent me the link when I was looking for good, vanilla-ish cookies for a holiday gift, but I kept finding myself short of one key ingredient or another.  This recipe is a winner – the cookies are easy to make, they’re delicious and the cardamom makes them distinctive.

About cardamom: it’s used in Middle Eastern and Scandinavian cooking, which is a weird combination of cuisines.  I don’t know much about Scandinavian food (except that gravlax is tasty, ebelskivers sound delicious, and “smorgasbord” and “ebelskivers” are fun words to say.  Go ahead, say them.  See?), but in the Middle East, cardamom is put in coffee as well as food.  It’s a great combination – Turkish coffee (that super-strong coffee with the grounds in the cup) contains cardamom.  The spice is also used extensively in India where it originated (http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/cardamom.html).

Cardamom is related to ginger, and comes in a few varieties, and in seed, pod, or ground form.  It’s one of the spices that you can taste almost up in the back of your nose.  If you’re making Indian food, it’s probably worth getting the pods or the seeds.  If you’re making these cookies, you’re fine with ground cardamom, unless you really like grinding your own spices for maximum flavor and aroma.  I’d recommend getting cardamom at a Middle Eastern or Indian store, if possible – They go through it more quickly so it’s more likely to be fresh. I’d also recommend storing it in the freezer – a little cardamom goes a long way.

These cookies are fantastic with coffee, and with each kind of herb tea that I tried them with (and I tried to be thorough in my taste testing, of course):  hibiscus, Tangerine Orange Zinger, Country Peach Passion, and Very Berry Something-or-other.  Of course, as one friend pointed out, snickerdoodles go with pretty much everything. And while the cardamom makes these distinctive, this still holds true.  These cookies were winners with adults and a 14-year-old girl.  I haven’t shared them beyond that.

Here’s the recipe, from the Washington Post’s recipes.  It’s in a winter holiday recipe category, but would work well in the summer too.  The recipe made about 4-5 dozen, not 7 dozen.
Cardamom Brown Sugar Snickerdoodles

Make them, enjoy them, and call them cardamomtazzies, because it’s shorter than the recipe’s real name, and WAY more fun!

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