Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Secret Ingredient: Cardamom

I love Works for Me Wednesdays! My tip for everyone today is for the kitchen - learn to use cardamom in you baking & cooking. Cardamom can be used as a substitute for cinnamon, although use less because it is stronger. Cardamom also goes very well with cinnamon, like in this recipe for Viking Cookies below, from the author of the Hannah Swensen culinary mystery series. I usually make a few modifications though. They are very sweet, even for me, so I cut each of the sugars by 1/4 cup. I use half white & half semi-sweet chocolate chips - this cuts the sweetness a little too. Viking cookies are also great with a handful of coconut thrown in.

If you love cookies & you love Nie Nie (who doesn't) - click over to Landra Lynn's blog. She is hosting a cookie auction on Monday, Sept. 22nd. You can bake some or buy some.

I also love a sprinkle of cardamom on top of my powdered hot chocolate mix, before I add the water. Check out some recipes featuring cardamom from Allrecipes. After the cookie recipe I added some excerpts about cardamom.

Viking Cookies
Joanne Fluke @ Murder She Baked

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2 cups butter, melted
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom (nutmeg will also work, but cardalmom is better!)
4 1/2 cups flour
3 cups white chocolate chips
3 cups quick oats

Melt the butter and let it cool. Mix in the white and brown sugars. Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, eggs, vanilla, and spices. Make sure it's all mixed in thoroughly.
Add the flour in half-cup increments, mixing after each addition. Then add the chocolate chips and stir thoroughly. Add the oatmeal and mix. the dough will be quite stiff.
Drop by teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes.
Yield, 6-10 dozen cookies, depending on size.

Confessions of a Cardamom Addict - a food blog with some fun cardamom recipes on the sidebar

McCormick Enspicelopedia - check out the bottom of McCormick's page for a link to more recipes. Cardamom is used in Danish pastries, Saudi Arabian, North African, Asian, and Indian cooking and in spice blends such as garam masala, curry powder, and berbere. Throughout the Arab world, Cardamom is one of the most popular spices, with Cardamom coffee being a symbol of hospitality and prestige. The spice is also very popular in the Scandinavian countries where it is used more extensively than cinnamon.

Wikipedia - Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic fragrance. Black cardamom has a distinctly more astringent aroma, though not bitter, with a coolness similar to mint, though with a different aroma. It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking, and is often used in baking in Nordic countries, such as in the Finnish sweet-bread pulla. It is one of the most expensive spices by weight, and little is needed to impart the flavor.

My Recent Works For Me Wednesday posts:


Memarie Lane said...

And Madam #2. So you and Jane and I are friends with the refresh button this evening. I feel so much closer to you now. :P

Cindy said...

I love cardamom too! My favorite recipe with it is peach cobbler...to die for!

My choc chip cookies are practically this exact recipe...I never thought of adding cardamom.


Jane @ What About Mom? said...

I just love saying the word "cardamom." Sounds so spicy and exotic.

Those cookies look yu-mmy!

Sherry said...

Yum! I actually was wanting to find some more recipes with cardamom especially with the price of it. I had bought some earlier this year to try out some cookies but I don't want it to go to waste. Thank you for sharing! :D

Have a great WW!

Candles said...

Cardamom is well worth its premium price. My wife makes a pear cheesecake with cardamom and it lasts about as long as a Twinkie at Rosie O'Donnell's house.

Halloween Candles

Edi said...

I've tried using cardamom a couple of times and my family doesn't like it :(

For some reason I associate it with Scandinavian type recipes (maybe b/c my mom used it and she is Swedish) - and then I noticed your cookies were VIKING cookies...love the name! I think we might have to try them and maybe the kids won't mind the cardamom if they are in such cool sounding cookies.

Earthmama said...

Oh wow do I feel stupid. I had never heard of that LOL. I'll have to check into it!

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

I've never heard of it!

Sounds yummy though.


Jennie said...

Mmmmm! Those cookies sounds so good! I am going to have to collect all of the ingredients! I used to put cardamom pods in with my tea- very good!

Momof3 said...

Had to find out what "WHAT" was in your header at Rocks in my Dryer. Will definately have to try those cookies. thanks for the tip

Mommy, the Human Napkin said...

I've never really cooked with cardamom before. I'll have to give this a try! Those cookies sound yummy!

I do love some Chai tea, though. The kind I buy has cardamom in it. Maybe that's the flavor I couldn't quite place - almost cinnamony, but different.

Lacey said...

If these are the cookies you sent home with me the other day (I think they are) they are soooo good! In fact Scott wants me to make them for Sunday for his class. So being the good wife that
I am, and that I do everything my hubby wants, (yea right) off to the store I go tomorrow morning to get the stuff and make them before the football game. (I get to go this week!)

Katrine said...

I've never even heard of cardamom. I feel like a culinary flop! It looks like a great recipe.