Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Gift to Share

I love to cook and around Christmas time, I break out my holiday cookie recipes. It's not to say that I can't or won't make these year round, but that I HAVE to make them at Christmas without fail. Each year I make my Hershey Kiss cookies (they're not peanut butter) and then I play around with different cookie recipes that I want to try. A couple of years ago, though, in the midst of a blizzard, I found a new cookie recipe that has been added to my HAVE TO HAVE list. 

They aren't an original (haven't quite figured out how to make original cookie recipes since there's so much dependent on exact measurements!) but they have been modified to my liking. First thing was that the recipe only made about 1 dozen cookies and I like them way too much to only have 12 per batch! Course the number you get out of the recipe is completely dependent on the size of your cookies. I do mine in about 1 1/2 inch balls so I was able to squeeze about 3 dozen out of the recipe as it will appear here. 

Second change I made was that the recipe called for chopped walnuts. I actually pound mine in a mortar and pestle (or you could use a coffee grinder for uniform crumbs) so that they fit better with the sandy texture that I like (the originals are less like a sandy). 

So here they are:

Cardamon Walnut Sandies

12 cardamom pods
 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon almond extract (actually just shy of a teaspoon)
2/3 cups chopped walnuts, ground fine

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Crush the cardamom pods to remove seeds and discard the husk. In a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder, grind the seeds to make a powder. In a medium bowl, mix the butter, confectioners' sugar, and flour until the batter becomes coarse crumbs (not long). Add in the cardamom, almond, and finely ground walnuts and mix briefly to combine. The mixture will still be crumbly and that is ok. Roll the dough into balls of desired size and place 2 inches apart on the greased cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. 

I love them! They are very heavy on the cardamom, so if you don't like this particular spice you probably won't like the cookies. They have a sandy consistency that's light and really makes you think you're not eating as many as you really are (true confession, I can't handle a lot of sweets but I scarf these down like there is no tomorrow).

I live at high altitude (the lowest HIGH level) and have no trouble with these so if you also live at HA, you shouldn't have to make any adjustments. 

1 comment:

Tez Miller said...

Heehee - this reminds me of Roger from American Dad! "Pretty sure I asked for pecan sandies..." ;-)

Have a lovely day! :-)