Friday, December 23, 2011

Orange and Cardamom Sugar Cookies

Happy Christmas Eve Eve!!!  I hope everyone is enjoying time with their family and friends and taking a nice long break from work to celebrate the holidays.  Whatever your holiday traditions are they are special to you because they are yours.  I have this huge, amazing extended family that I am lucky to be super close to.   Every year some combination of the nearly 45 of us spend Christmas together.  Last year on Christmas we got thirteen inches of snow, at the beach.  There were 26 of us crammed into my aunt and uncle's house  and we spent three days having snow ball fights, sledding, playing board games and charades, and eating...lots of good food.  For a bunch of random reasons this year's Christmas is a much smaller crowd.  But spending time with my parents, siblings, grandmother, and uncle are just as crazy.  So far, we have made a huge pot of shrimp and calm chowder (omg it was good), blue cheese crackers, molasses ginger cookies, homemade sea salt caramels, fantasy fudge (classic yet delicious), and my signature orange and cardamom sugar cookie.   Yum Yum Yum!!!!!!

Orange and Cardamom Sugar Cookies*
recipe slightly adapted from Bon Appetit December 2009

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground cardamom**
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, room temperature
Raw sugar, or holiday sprinkles

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon salt until blended.  Using an electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until creamy, about 3 min.  Slowly add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar; beat until light and fluffy, another 3 minutes.  Reduce speed to low, beat in orange peel, vanilla, and egg, beat until blended.  Add flour mix, 1/3 at a time, mixing on low until just blended.  Refrigerate until firm enough to shape, about an 1 hours.

Divide dough in half.  Form each half into ball, flatten into disks, wrap in plastic.  Chill until firm enough to roll out, about 45 minutes.  Take out when ready to roll and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.  Roll out 1 dough disk on light floured surface to 1/8 thickness.  Cut out cookies in holiday shape.  Transfer cookies to baking sheets, leaving 1 inch between each.  Sprinkle with raw sugar.  Gather dough scraps into ball.  Flatten, cover and freeze until firm enough to roll out agains, 10 minutes.

Bake cookies for 14 minutes or until slightly golden on the edges, depending on the size and oven temperament.  Remove from oven and let cool for 3-5 minutes on baking tray, before transferring to wire cooling rack.  Store in airtight containers.

Cook's Notes: *Normally I make these cookies as directed by the recipe above, but today I actually used a sugar cookie mix, followed the directions on the back of the package, added the orange, cardamom, and vanilla extract into the mix in the measurements below, and then dropped them with a cookie scope on the baking tray.  Easy and just as delicious.
**My orange, cardamom, and vanilla extract quantities are significantly increased from original recipe.  Having made these several times now, I find they are better with a little more sugar and spice :)  Plus, the cardamom cooks off quite a bit.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the recipe. Hope you post more of your favorites.