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.
• 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.