Cardamom Cookies

Cookies have always been the Achilles Heel of my cooking repertoire. For some reason I struggle to achieve the perfect consistency of cookie dough, which means that they become ever so slightly misshapen during the cooking process. However, there is one recipe which, in general, produces cookies of which even I can be proud. This being the case, I thought it best to follow the same basic recipe, only replacing the chocolate with just enough cardamom to impart a subtle, delicate flavour. Indeed, though cardamom is truly one of my favourite spices, there exists a fine line between perfection and complete and utter failure. Who can honestly say that they enjoy the unadulterated taste of a cardamom pod?

To be honest, cookies aren’t quite as popular here in Britain as they are in America. Let’s face it, they are rather vulgar, full of sugar and generally too large. Though, I shall let you decide whether that description was aimed at the cookie or the American. All joking and pseudo-Xenophobic remarks aside, cookies will never occupy the same place in the hearts and souls of the British that the good old-fashioned biscuit has since the 18th Century. However, one cannot deny that the American cookie does have a certain dirty appeal to it. Everyone has their vices, perhaps the cookie shall become the culinary mistress to whom I return on a monthly basis. Sugar, no matter how horrible it can make one feel, is rather addictive after all.

Cardamom Cookies

Makes 16-20


• 200g butter

• 85g muscovado sugar, dark works nicely

• 85g golden caster sugar

• 1 egg

• 225g self-raising flour

• The seeds of 10 cardamom pods


1. Heat the oven to 180C. Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods. Toast them gently in a frying pan, it is important to keep them moving so that they don’t burn. After a couple of minutes remove them from the heat and crush them using a rolling pin or mortar and pestle.

2. Mix the butter with both types of sugar, until smooth – take care not to cream them. Gently beat in the egg. Fold in the flour and the crushed cardamom.

3. Dollop 16-20 little balls of the cookie dough onto greased baking trays, leave a few centimetres around each to allow for spreading. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow them to cool for a few minutes until stiff enough to lift onto a wire rack – allow to cool completely before indulging.

Cost: This entire batch of cookies should set one back little more than £1.20, quite the bargain. Please enjoy the subtle aroma and flavour of these deliciously spicy cookies.

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70 comments on “Cardamom Cookies

  1. Nikki
    March 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Can’t wait to make these. I reckon would be great with black pepper corns too… I will try and let you know how I go!

  2. rimapir
    March 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Hmmm I can almost smell them! Hmmm I’m gonna go have my healthy snack bar with a cuppa! 😉 btw I love dark brown sugar in cookies n breads – makes them so gooey n chewy n moist!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 3:32 pm

      I bet you wish you could, they were so fragrant. Yes, exactly why I used it 😀

  3. countrywoodsmoke
    March 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Great cookies. I had a white chocolate and cardamom hot chocolate recently and these would go a treat with it.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      Marcus, that hot chocolate sounds simply incredible! Awesome 😀

  4. Karista
    March 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    I’d put cardamom in everything if I could! My favorite spice. These cookies look absolutely delightful… especially with a cup of tea.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      Haha, best not to put it in everything huh. Thanks, Karista!

  5. Andrea
    March 2, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Haha, a fair and funny stab! Unfortunately, for too much of the population, your cookie analogy is true… Speaking of cookies and eating too many of them, my husband and I were just the other day marveling at how cookie recipes always seem to be written to feed an army… why don’t recipes come in generally smaller sizes? If a couple bakes a batch of cookies, generally 24 cookies to a batch, that’s 12 cookies each if you fail to pawn them off on friend and co-workers. So silly! Rant over… my solution is always halving recipes and freezing extra dough!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      Haha, thanks! Yes, they are massive – others have mentioned this. I always take most of them to work 😀

  6. Andrea
    March 2, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Also, delicious looking cookies… can’t say I’ve much experience with Cardamom! But I bet they’re spicy and warm.

  7. thelittleloaf
    March 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    I love American cookies and I don’t care if they are vulgar 🙂 These cardamom ones look wonderfully sophisticated though – it works so well in biscuits and with pastry. Yum.

  8. cjdelgrosso
    March 2, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Cardamom is all the rave these days! But delcious as well! Great job!

  9. Purely.. Kay
    March 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    I really don’t cook with cardamom a lot, but these cookies are sure calling me right now. You should see my face right now.. mouth all open LOL. Great post

  10. Kimby
    March 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I’d say you faced your xenophobia head on — pseudo or not 🙂 — and your bravery resulted in some delicious (possibly addictive) cookies. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices, too, but as they say, “A little dab’ll do ya!” You showed great restraint. (Dare I say, British restraint?!) Unfortunately, I’ll have to agree with you that the status quo in America isn’t “less is more.” Keep telling it like it is!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      Haha – I’m glad I did :D. Nothing like a pinch of restraint :D.

  11. meetyourtreat
    March 2, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Why am I left feeling like a dirty American cookie junkie after reading your post? But I will never understand why most cookie recipes make so darn many…who needs 2 dozen cookies sitting around, I tell you we just set ourselves up for failure!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Because you are? :D. I know, it’s a little excessive.

  12. Lorna
    March 2, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    These sound gorgeous! I’ll be getting the cardamom out tomorrow…

  13. Sharyn Dimmick
    March 2, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Did you consider mixing a little sugar and crushed cardamom and rolling the cookie dough in it, for a nice, crunchy top. The trend toward extra-large, extra-sweet cookies is a relatively new one in the States as things go (it started in the 1970s), but it shows no sign of abating. Pity, because before that we baked lots of dainty tea cookies and many ethnic treats. I’ll be baking some cardamom cookies sooner or later — you can count on it. Thanks.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 11:36 pm

      I thought about something like that, but I thought this was the better way to do it and it worked perfectly. I do like the insight into america you often give me.

  14. Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking
    March 2, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    What a lovely flavor for cookies! I could so see myself enjoying these along with a cup of tea. Thanks for sharing. You have a very nice blog and I’m glad to have found you!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 11:36 pm

      Thanks, Georgia! I’m glad you’ve found me too, feel free to comment as much as you like 😀

  15. Baker Bettie
    March 2, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    These sound lovely. Cardamom is also one of my favorite spices.

    One thing I love about food and especially the food blog world is to learn about other culture’s preferences and what is considered a “classic dish” in their mind. We all grow up thinking our little world is what the whole world is about. Most everyone here grows up eating their grandma’s Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe and that makes us all nostalgic about them. I love hearing what brings that nostalgia for other people. No matter how foreign or “vulgar” it may seem in our mind compared to what we are used to. It is beautiful to me.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      Thanks, Bettie! Yes, it is very interesting indeed.

  16. Bluejellybeans
    March 2, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    My dear dear child (Brits accent),
    I love your sense of humor, is so…. British 😉
    The cookies: simply perfection!
    Have a lovely weekend

  17. Just A Smidgen
    March 3, 2012 at 4:47 am

    Ahhh, now I’m a fan of cookies.. it’s also a Canadian thing… I’ve never had one with cardamom in it and this has suggested all sorts of new recipes that I could try with a pinch of cardamom! I’d love a wee cookie.. not a supersized one.. just one wee bite even:)

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 3:27 pm

      Ahha, I didn’t know that. I’m glad I have inspired. You’re morally obliged to give them a go.

  18. Kate
    March 3, 2012 at 7:54 am

    I’m American and consider cookies one of the major food groups 😉 These would go well after Chicken Tikka Masala!

  19. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    March 3, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I love cardamom in desserts and this takes it to a whole new level. These look great!

  20. cakeboule
    March 3, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Wonderful pictures – cardamom always works so well in cookies I have found recently. Just perfect! I love cookies whatever shape or size they all work for me.

  21. Cara
    March 4, 2012 at 5:03 am

    That vulgar comment wasn’t aimed towards me, now was it? It’s because I’m American, isn’t it? Or maybe because I digust you. Regardless, I got the biggest belly laugh out of this post. You are completely and utterly a regionist {one who is prejudice against people from different regions}; or an Americanist that makes one tasty cardomom cookie 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Well, I suppose it was indirectly :D. I’m glad you found it funny. I’ll let you decide what I am.

      • Cara
        March 7, 2012 at 3:30 pm

        I knew it!

        • frugalfeeding
          March 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm

          Your intuition serves you well.

          • Cara
            March 7, 2012 at 3:41 pm

            It’s because I am American 🙂

          • frugalfeeding
            March 7, 2012 at 5:49 pm

            Are you? I didn’t know…

  22. cityhippyfarmgirl
    March 4, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Love anything with cardamom in it. subtle perfection 🙂

  23. Villy
    March 4, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Cardamom has such a nice and particular taste, so the cookies must be delicious! Cardamom tea is also great 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 10:26 am

      Oh yes, it does, it’s so fantastic. I’m glad you like it. I’ve never tired the tea. I shall have to try it!

  24. Ragamuffin Diaries
    March 5, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    this is a wonderfully simple recipe; and the post certainly had me laughing! I love that you let cardamom really control the flavor in these. I’m curious to give them a try, but since I’m not using refined sugars much these days, I’m wondering if you think honey would work with the flavor here?

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 10:04 am

      Oh, I am glad. I do like to make people laugh. I’m sure that honey would work just fine – perhaps you’d need a tiny little more flour… I’m not sure.

  25. Green Boot Kaley
    March 7, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    wow! these look amazing! love your site.

  26. accordingtocarey
    March 9, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Dirty cookies, HA!!! I had no idea were so vulgar but I do love me a good cookie!

  27. spree
    March 11, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Oh! a Cardamom Cookie!!! Heaven must have dreamed this one! VERY beautiful Nick!!!

  28. applepiezucchini
    March 14, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Hi – just wanted to let you know I made these and they were great! I’ve posted a pic with a link to your page at:

  29. raggedblossomhandmade
    July 8, 2012 at 12:44 am

    So yummy! I finally got around to making these at 7am this morning and I don’t think they’re going to last the day 🙂

  30. Alison
    June 9, 2014 at 8:55 am

    I made these today (after making the rhubarb and ginger jam cake yesterday!), they are truly heavenly. I used ground cardamom (1 1/4 tsp), and my batch of dough made about 40 cookies rather than your 20, they were lovely, thin and crisp. I will be making these regularly for sure, thank you!

    • frugalfeeding
      July 15, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Great to hear – I need to do more baking with cardamom, it’s such a wonderful flavour.

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