I love shortbread cookies, I have a lot of recipes for them here on my blog, but this might be my favorite flavor combination. These tender cookies are bright and just a little spicy with all the cardamom. I can’t get enough of cardamom. Swedish baking uses a lot of cardamom and with Olivia’s Dala Horse themed party last week, I thought this would be an appropriate flavor.
Cardamom Orange Shortbread
1 cup butter
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp. freshly ground cardamom
zest of one orange
1 tsp. vanilla
Optional for the tops of the cookies, Parlsocker (pearl sugar or any coarse sugar)
Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. (I like to use whole cardamom in the pods. You have to remove the seeds from inside the green casing and then either crush the seeds with a mortar and pestle or a spice mill. This takes a bit of time, but it’s totally worth it.) Add the vanilla, cardamom and orange zest. Add the flour and mix until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 mins.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Roll out the dough to a little less then 1/4″ on a well floured surface. This is a very soft dough, that’s what makes them so tender when they are done. Keep the dough cold and work with flour on your hands and on the surface. Cut out desired shapes and sprinkle with pearl sugar. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Chill the cut cookies for at least 20 mins. before baking (this helps the cookies keep their shape and not spread on the cookie sheet). Bake the cookies for about 12 mins. or until the edges are just barely brown. Cool on wire racks.
These cookies freeze well in an air tight container.