13 March, 2019
Cardamom Snowball Cookies
American cookies and baked goods are often made with more sugar than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sugar fiend and definitely don’t have a problem with it, but sometimes, I like to change things up. A few months ago, I made some Italian cookies with chocolate and black pepper. If you made those (or sampled my batch) and enjoyed them, you’ll probably like these cookies, too.
If you’ve never had cardamom before, it’s very… herbal. That seems like a really stupid descriptor, but it’s the most accurate one I can think of. It’s kind of floral and kind of peppery almost in terms of how the scent and taste hit you, and it’s very pungent. American cuisine doesn’t use it very often (if ever), but it’s more common in Indian and Middle Eastern spice racks. If you want to try a savory dish with cardamom in it, give this chicken curry a try!
Another element that sets this recipe apart from most other cookies on here is that it uses browned butter. I’ve featured a recipe on here before that used it, but it isn’t something I tend to make for baked goods. After whipping up a batch for these cookies, however, you might be seeing more posts that use it. The smell and flavor are almost like caramel. Browning butter is easy, and I’ll walk you through it, but it does require your full attention.
1 cup Butter
3/4 cup Sugar
1 Egg yolk
1 tbsp Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Ground cardamom
2 cups Flour
The first thing we’re going to do is brown the butter.
In a medium saucepan, melt the sticks of butter over medium heat and stir constantly. Eventually, the butter will begin to froth (it takes several minutes to get to this point, but keep stirring). It might be tough to see, but you’re looking for the butter to just begin turning a light golden brown. It’ll start to smell sweet like caramel as well. Once the color starts changing, take it off the heat, let the bubbles deflate (you can stir them down), and pour the butter into a bowl or cup. Place it in the fridge for about half an hour to cool.
Once the butter has cooled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets. In a shallow bowl or plate, pour out some powdered sugar for rolling the cookies in later.
In a stand mixer, combine the browned butter and sugar on high. Add in the egg yolk, vanilla, and cardamom. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour in 1/4 cup at a time until the mixture is thoroughly combined and starting to cake to the sides of the mixing bowl. It will be crumbly. Grab a handful of the mix and form it into a 1-inch ball. Repeat and place cookies about an inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden brown on the bottom. It’s okay if the cookies crack a little.
Once the cookies come out of the oven, immediately transfer them to a cooling rack for one minute. After they’ve cooled for a minute, roll the cookies in powdered sugar before returning them to the cooling rack. Once all the cookies have cooled completely, roll them in the sugar one last time to coat and store in a tin.