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Eatsy: Cardamom Sugar Cookies

Dec 1, 2011

by Kimberley Hasselbrink handmade and vintage goods

Do you find that your best Christmas cookie attempts have something of a Charlie Brown quality? Try as I might, my cookies are invariably the underdog: either a little lopsided, a little too hard, or glazed with a coating whose intentions were grand, but whose appearance is a bit…homely. However, I persist in my efforts because making cookies is one of the finest rituals of the season. (And imperfect cookies are rather endearing.)

My favorite way to bake is with friends at a cookie party. As long as people are prepared for flour-covered clothing and messy work surfaces, it’s a fantastic way to bring people together and walk away with a scandalous quantity of cookies for yourself or an awesome collection of homemade gifts to share.

Another fun option is a cookie bar. It’s simple: prepare a basic sugar cookie, then jazz it up with cardamom (as was done here) or fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme. Select any number of toppings — colored sugars, candy pearls, crushed chocolate, chopped nuts, even jams — then make a simple glaze, arrange everything on a counter, and let your guests have fun. ‘Tis the season!

If you’re looking for cookie inspiration this season, Lottie + Doof has a fantastic 12 Days of Cookies collection worth digging into. (His favorite: Marlow and Sons Shortbread.)

Cardamom Sugar Cookies
Yield: About 4 dozen 2″ cookies


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons cardamom
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water

Kimberley Hasselbrink

Cookie toppings.

Optional cookie toppings:

Sanding sugars
Candy pearls
Crushed chocolate
Chopped nuts

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sea salt and cardamom.

Separately, whisk together the butter and sugar, either by hand or with an electric mixer. When the mix has been creamed, beat in the egg and vanilla.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until thoroughly combined. Knead, if necessary, to mix ingredients.

Separate into two balls and freeze for about one half hour, but be careful to not freeze the dough entirely.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Remove dough from freezer, and let stand a few minutes.

Kimberley Hasselbrink

On a floured surface, roll the dough to a thickness of 1/8″.

Grease a large baking sheet and keep it on hand.

Dip your cookie cutter into the flour and cut the cookies. Arrange on baking sheet.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, checking after about ten minutes to make sure they’re not browning.

While the cookies are baking, prepare the glaze by whisking the water into the powdered sugar until fully incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.

Kimberley Hasselbrink

Allow the cookies to cool before brushing the glaze on. Once the glaze is on, sprinkle with desired toppings and let the cookies sit for a few minutes. Enjoy!

Here are a few of my favorite recipes from past holidays:

Kimberley Hasselbrink

Toffee Bars With White Chocolate

Kimberley Hasselbrink

Rosemary Cookies

RED VELVET Homemade Cookie Sandwich, Whoopie Pies, Food, Cake, 1/2 Dozen (6) by Ploctopia
RED VELVET Homemade Cookie Sandwich, Whoopie Pies, Food, Cake, 1/2 Dozen (6) by Ploctopia
Oh CHRISTMAS TREE Sugar cookies - 1 dozen
Oh CHRISTMAS TREE Sugar cookies - 1 dozen
Jam Rings Vanilla Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches - 1 dozen
Jam Rings Vanilla Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches - 1 dozen


  • thecityfolklore

    thecityfolklore said 8 years ago

    Oh yummy! These could not look more delicious! I use cardamom in salty foods and I've tried it with coffee (Turkish cardamom coffee -- AMAZING) but never ever in cookies. Crossing my fingers it will be as good as it looks! Thx so much for sharing. Appreciate it.

  • TailedBluePhotos

    TailedBluePhotos said 8 years ago

    They all look delicious! The ice skates are just darling :)

  • TheBrassHussy

    TheBrassHussy said 8 years ago

    Looks Great! I get to start making the cut out Christmas cookies now. My mom passed away and she always made them and let my boys decorate them with icing and sprinkles. The kids are asking about them, so I must continue the tradition. These do look delicious!

  • RossLab

    RossLab said 8 years ago

    Toffee bars, I want you!

  • skullyglam

    skullyglam said 8 years ago

    oooooh! yummy stuff, I have to go bake something!

  • MootiDesigns

    MootiDesigns said 8 years ago

    Looks delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  • Mclovebuddy

    Mclovebuddy said 8 years ago

    cardamom makes it interesting. sage, maybe oregano, and that other herb, too.

  • hemingwayfun

    hemingwayfun said 8 years ago


  • NecessiTees

    NecessiTees said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the recipe! The rosemary cookies sound interesting!!!

  • KettleConfections

    KettleConfections said 8 years ago

    Wow, this recipe looks delish! Cardamom is great with any dessert. We infuse our tea/coffee sugar syrups with cardamom, just by boiling water, sugar, and cardamom pods, then letting it soak for half hours before straining.

  • unflappableproducts

    unflappableproducts said 8 years ago

    I love this recipe -thanks ~ love the flavor of cardamom!

  • MaryYarns

    MaryYarns said 8 years ago

    Looks ... D E L I C I O U S !! mmmm, yumi - yumi

  • weezieduzzit

    weezieduzzit said 8 years ago

    Mmmmmmm.... cardamom is my absolute favorite spice and possibly even my favorite flavor ever! I recently did poached pears with a red wine cardamom reduction for dessert it was amazing. I've done rosemary shortbread and lavendar lemon biscotti with great success but my signature cookies are a tiny tender melt in your mouth sandwich cookie with the most amazing buttercream kind of filling. Its a secret family recipe and people go positively mad for them. If I didn't make them for Christmas I don't think the in-laws would even let me in the house.

  • RatedStyle24

    RatedStyle24 said 8 years ago


  • bedouin

    bedouin said 8 years ago

    its all a beautiful sight ~

  • SandySeattle

    SandySeattle said 8 years ago

    These cookies look so good. I make cardamom cookies every year but these are much fancier than mine. I'm going to make mine look as nice as these!

  • themefragrance

    themefragrance said 8 years ago

    somehow these food articles surprise me when most hungry! my preferred food group at holiday time is cookie+anything sweet- all these treats are perfect!

  • silversamba

    silversamba said 8 years ago

    These all look amaaaaazing - thanks! Alana

  • DesignsbyALY

    DesignsbyALY said 8 years ago

    This looks AMAZING. I have a fondness for cardamom, so I think I'll put it on my list of Christmas Cookie baking :).

  • HomeStudio

    HomeStudio said 8 years ago

    Thanks Kimberley!

  • sabahnur

    sabahnur said 8 years ago


  • ThePattypanShop

    ThePattypanShop said 8 years ago

    These cookies look so delicious!! My kids love cardamom cookies! It's time to start Christmas baking!!!

  • scarletbegonia11

    scarletbegonia11 said 8 years ago

    yum!!! can't wait to try these!

  • Kazlekas

    Kazlekas said 8 years ago

    Wow, looks great! Yummy!

  • QsGoodies

    QsGoodies said 8 years ago

    Those l@@k delish! I luv cookies. There's just something about spices that remind you of the holidays!

  • AThymetoSew

    AThymetoSew said 8 years ago

    Mmmm, this post really makes me want to bake for the holidays!

  • autumnvelvetrose

    autumnvelvetrose said 8 years ago

    yummers!! can I have one?? ;)

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 8 years ago

    sugar cookies.... ((((drool)))

  • thebeadgirl

    thebeadgirl said 8 years ago

    yum. thanks for the recipe and the link! off to soften butter!

  • HouseOfMoss

    HouseOfMoss said 8 years ago

    Mm! Cardamom!

  • Nikifashion

    Nikifashion said 8 years ago

    Very yummy!

  • fantasygarden

    fantasygarden said 8 years ago

    thank's i will make some

  • peacebird

    peacebird said 8 years ago

    OMGoodness cardamom is my favorite! I have to make these! thanks for the inspire :)

  • picklehead

    picklehead said 8 years ago

    oooh man do I love eating and baking cookies... and cardamom is amazing so I think I will give these a try! Also pretty hard to mess up sugar cookies! :D

  • DEwear

    DEwear said 8 years ago

    Mmmmmm-mmmmmmm........looks very nom-worthy!

  • VanessaStoryDesigns

    VanessaStoryDesigns said 8 years ago

    Our family loves cardamom, we are going to have to try this out. Being gluten free means I'll have to tweak the recipe a bit, and the others. They all look delicious! I'll let you know how they turn out. V.

  • econica

    econica said 8 years ago

    yumm - can't wait to try it!

  • NicoAndMooMoo

    NicoAndMooMoo said 8 years ago

    hmmm rosemary cookies, paired with sea salt chocolate... can I call it my new favorite dinner?!? :D

  • BellaRosina

    BellaRosina said 8 years ago

    Excellent choice of recipes, thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas!

  • GracefullyGirly

    GracefullyGirly said 8 years ago

    A number of years ago I experimented and made some white chocolate chip cookies with some cardamon mixed into the batter. I think I put some dried fruit in there too but I can't remember which. Maybe dried cherries. YUM! Thanks for the reminder. I will definitely try those again this year, along with some of the other ideas too. I'm also looking forward to the cookie exchange with my friends that we do every year. We all make some yummies and come together with the kids to play and gab and we all take home a little of everything. Fun and yummy!

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez said 8 years ago

    oh yum! Thank u so much for sharing!

  • brittanylaurendesign

    brittanylaurendesign said 8 years ago

    Yummy recipes are always welcomed! Thanks for sharing :) Rugelach looks amazing :)

  • RivalryTime

    RivalryTime said 8 years ago

    I'm starving.

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 8 years ago

    Yummy. Two with chocolate please....

  • 123star

    123star said 8 years ago

    Looks yummy and fancy as well, it must taste better than it looks with "Cardamom" will do good for any Holiday or special occasion,Thanks for sharing and Happy Holidays:)

  • mythunderstood

    mythunderstood said 8 years ago

    Cardamon cookies, delicious - thanks so much for the recipe!

  • GirlieGirlbySLS

    GirlieGirlbySLS said 8 years ago

    What a lovely recipe and your cookies are very cute.

  • elleestpetite

    elleestpetite said 8 years ago

    I'm not much of a cookie baker, but I sure like to eat them. These look delicious.

  • katieduran

    katieduran said 8 years ago

    Mmmm...cardamom. There's a spice I haven't tried in cookies yet. Thanks, Kimberley!

  • strawberryluna

    strawberryluna said 8 years ago

    Perfect!! These sound delicious, and thanks for the links too. I'm going to an annual cookie party next Friday and have been wondering which recipes to try out this year. Yum!

  • IheartBellevue

    IheartBellevue said 8 years ago

    Yum!! Sugar cookies are my favorite. Thank you for a new treat:)

  • everythingok

    everythingok said 8 years ago

    YESPLEASE. Here's the thing about baking: it doesn't have to be beautiful. It doesn't need fancy perfect shapes or flash garnishes or swirls and swirls of colourful frosting. Some of the most beautiful baked goods are the most humble in appearance, the ones whose simple, sometimes odd shapes and plain colours (perhaps a bit too brown in places) hide the most interesting, nuanced, intense and interesting flavours. You know, like sugar cookies that hit you with the heady aroma of sweet cardamom when you bite into them. Beautiful. As for me and my kitchen, my rugelach is legendary, and though I only developed the recipe last year, I hope my ginger-pear honey cake (with whole wheat and three kinds of ginger) will soon become the sort of thing people travel great distances just to be in the presence of.

  • BreatheCouture

    BreatheCouture said 8 years ago

    NOM NOM! Oh my goodie goodness! :)

  • crazy4jewels

    crazy4jewels said 8 years ago

    Cookies GALORE...yummy!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 8 years ago

    Yum yum, cardamom is a pretty unusual flavour for a cookie but sounds delicious. I love your toppings they really jazz them up and make them look quite festive!

  • peshka

    peshka said 8 years ago

    Mmmmmmmm.. Yummy!

  • TaylorStitched

    TaylorStitched said 8 years ago

    These look amazing, can't wait to try thrm out. They would make great presents too. Thank you

  • AliceCloset

    AliceCloset said 8 years ago


  • cunningcatcrafts

    cunningcatcrafts said 8 years ago

    Mmm lovely. I hope they're just as tasty with gluten free flour.

  • perfectpattern

    perfectpattern said 8 years ago

    I already went to the kitchen........


    KONTAKT said 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing! Yummmmyyy!!!!!

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies said 8 years ago!

  • FreakyPeas

    FreakyPeas said 8 years ago

    I am the worst baker! I have recently been trying again...not so much success but I have not given up!

  • samaraecarter

    samaraecarter said 8 years ago

    I've been doing cardamom sugar cookies for the last few years - I felt it added an elegant edge to the traditional holiday treat! Glad to hear others love it as much as I do!

  • nickelodeon01

    nickelodeon01 said 8 years ago

    Imperfect cookies are endearing! These look wonderful! I almost forgot about your amazing rugelach, I must make that again this year.

  • GatheringSplendor

    GatheringSplendor said 8 years ago

    Imperfect ....they are the best ever and are always eaten first.

  • papierdier

    papierdier said 8 years ago

    They look like little pieces of art!

  • DesignsbySamba

    DesignsbySamba said 8 years ago

    I love Indian food, but I've never considered using cardamom in cookies. I will definitely try this!

  • sewlola

    sewlola said 8 years ago

    My signature cookies are homemade organic chocolate chip cookies. Mmm!

  • MorfineDoll

    MorfineDoll said 8 years ago

    Wonderful post!

  • LittleBlueMoon

    LittleBlueMoon said 8 years ago

    I love the photography, esp. Toffee Bars With White Chocolate. :}

  • FullCircleRetro

    FullCircleRetro said 8 years ago

    Oh my...! :p

  • TheCreativeTree

    TheCreativeTree said 8 years ago

    Beautiful cookies!! (: My "signature" cookie is old fashion chocolate chip. Nothing says Merry Christmas more than making (and sharing!) a big batch. (: Merry Christmas, everyone!

  • JennasRedRhino

    JennasRedRhino said 8 years ago

    If I have any cardamon in my pantry, it's so old that I should throw it out before making these!

  • ArtDecoDame

    ArtDecoDame said 8 years ago

    they look too pretty to eat!

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 8 years ago

    I know what the Simple Joys Paperie household is baking this weekend! ;) Thanks for the recipe!

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 8 years ago

    I'm gonna need to 'reign it in' this season ..but, yum!

  • adrianaallenllc

    adrianaallenllc said 8 years ago

    Thank you for the recipe!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 8 years ago

    Love cardamom! Thanks for the recipe!

  • SerendipiT

    SerendipiT said 8 years ago

    I love cardamom; this will be used this weekend. I think the cookie baking party sounds like a blast too. hooray!

  • riverstar

    riverstar said 8 years ago

    I will try this .... thanks!

  • Melissababycreations

    Melissababycreations said 8 years ago

    I'll be making these tonight! Thanks so much!

  • FromStarStuff

    FromStarStuff said 8 years ago

    What a great idea! I love cardamom. My husband is vegan, so I'll need to tweak the recipe a tiny bit (vegan butter and flax as an egg replacement), but I never have problems with that. I think I'll try these tonight instead of my usual snickerdoodles.

  • BusyChickadees

    BusyChickadees said 8 years ago

    Wow, the photography is amazing! Great job. I have not cooked much with cardamom. I need to give it a try!

  • BizzieLizzie

    BizzieLizzie said 8 years ago

    Yes, Please! LOVE cookies and yours look di-vine! Cannot wait to try the recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  • kimberlyclarkson

    kimberlyclarkson said 8 years ago

    We have had a cardamom cookie recipe that we make every year- they are always a family favorite!

  • debra412

    debra412 said 8 years ago

    The cookies sound wonderful. But...I have never used cardamom before and have only seen it sold in the pod, do I open the pod and crush the seeds, or can you buy it already crushed? Looking forward to trying the cookies! :-)

  • adanawashington

    adanawashington said 8 years ago

    I've been looking for ways to incorporate more cardamom into my cooking, so this is right up my alley. I'll definitely be taking these to my friend's cookie swap. Thanks for the post!

  • ToothNailTail

    ToothNailTail said 8 years ago

    Oh great, can't wait to try the recipe this weekend! Thanks!

  • OnlyOriginalsByAJ

    OnlyOriginalsByAJ said 8 years ago

    I'm so going to try these tomorrow! I love baking. In the summer I make these amazing tropical oatmeal cookies and in the winter I love to bake rum balls. And I get lots of compliments on my chocolate chip cookies. Thanks for sharing! I am always looking for new cookie recipes :-)

  • blueangel06661

    blueangel06661 said 8 years ago

    I want to make these! I always settle for the ready make kind :/

  • artworksbycarol

    artworksbycarol said 8 years ago

    home made is a bit more work but well worth it .Big tradition in our home @ Christmas. I've used the same recipe for 20 yrs. Orange zest is the key! YUM

  • Fuzzybellas

    Fuzzybellas said 8 years ago

    beautiful and delicious...thats all I want for Christmas!

  • peaseblossomstudio

    peaseblossomstudio said 8 years ago

    These look delicious! I think I will definitely be trying them out.

  • julietempleton

    julietempleton said 8 years ago

    Beautiful cardamom cookies. However when I was making them, I found the dough to be way to dry to combine. It wouldn't ball up, so I consulted some other recipes and my mother who suggested referring to the Joy of Cooking's rich roll cookies (something like that) All proportions of that recipe were nearly the same, except the butter in that recipe was double (1/2 lb= 1 cup or a whole cup, vs. 1/2 cup= 1 stick). I nearly doubled the butter here, and added it to the dry crumbles and that seemed to work. Yet to bake.... will update if the baked result turns out disastrous. Love the addition of cardamom, one of my favorite spices. Also got some toffee crumbles to adorn with. Maybe even some crystallized ginger. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • NaturesJewelsByVina

    NaturesJewelsByVina said 8 years ago

    Mmmmm...I think my family will enjoy these! Thanks

  • ile1974

    ile1974 said 8 years ago

    yummy yummy...I'll try^_^

  • metalicious

    metalicious said 8 years ago

    I love cardamom! And those toffee bars with white chocolate have me in an apron and ready to bake. Thanks for such great recipes, Kimberley!

  • tinkerworld

    tinkerworld said 8 years ago

    oooooooh NEATO! I gotta go buy something! ~Tink

  • StyleGraphicDesign

    StyleGraphicDesign said 8 years ago

    Hohoho Looove them!!!

  • saburkitty

    saburkitty said 8 years ago

    Had to blog about this blog lol I love cardamom!

  • CraftedbyLizC

    CraftedbyLizC said 8 years ago

    They all look so delicious!

  • TrewDesigns

    TrewDesigns said 8 years ago

    I want to come to your party!!!!

  • RoughGems

    RoughGems said 8 years ago

    Oh my goodness, these look absolutely delectable! I've been on the prowl for cookie recipes and shall add this one to my growing list! thanks :)

  • nicoahsmeem

    nicoahsmeem said 8 years ago

    Lord have mercy! these look sinful.

  • FunkyFriendsFactory

    FunkyFriendsFactory said 8 years ago

    Looks so yummy!! I love the Toffee bars with white chocolate!!

  • thePieceDeResistance

    thePieceDeResistance said 8 years ago

    Mmm sounds delicious - may have to try to add a similar touch to our cookies!

  • KatieMarieHorn

    KatieMarieHorn said 8 years ago

    I tried this recipie over the weekend and they are awesome! I will making more to share with all my friends since I'm going to eat all of this batch myself :-) thanks for sharing it.

  • continentaldrift

    continentaldrift said 8 years ago

    Hi @julietempleton: Sorry to hear of your trouble with the dough! Know that I wouldn't have posted this recipe had I not made it successfully a handful of times. The 2 cups flour/half stick butter is not an uncommon ration for sugar cookies. Here, the egg tempers the dryness of the dough and should have been the magic ingredient to hold the dough together. Did you perhaps forget the egg? I downsized the amount of butter on purpose because I like to make recipes a little bit healthier while retaining as much flavor as possible.

  • sparklesbydianne

    sparklesbydianne said 8 years ago

    I always like a good recipe, and I love sugar cookies, My Grandma really made good ones without all the thrills though, just sugar, but we loved them. I have always learned how to cook by trial & error, sometimes finding out a good thing. thanks for sharing

  • jenspopshoppe

    jenspopshoppe said 8 years ago

    These look delish!! I can't wait to try out this recipe! Thank you for sharing!! :)))

  • ricketyrocketboy

    ricketyrocketboy said 8 years ago

    The stories about who makes the cookies are the best! Traveling through the Redwoods is very magical and humbling. I'm off to buy some Lindt White chocolate bars.... Warmest Wishes while baking.

  • giorgiejewelry

    giorgiejewelry said 8 years ago

    Great idea, thanks for sharing!

  • continentaldrift

    continentaldrift said 8 years ago

    Edit: In response to @julietempleton above, I meant 1 stick/half cup butter. :)

  • kimlast

    kimlast said 8 years ago

    I just made these cookies! they are absolutely DELICIOUS! This is my second recipe I've tried of yours, Kimberley, and I am so impressed! Please keep up the good stuff!

  • Trulyyoursconcepts

    Trulyyoursconcepts said 8 years ago

    They look so lovely and delicious. Unfortunately i cannot use eggs ,could u pls tell me how to make them without using eggs. Thanking u in advance

  • allthingsgirlymi

    allthingsgirlymi said 8 years ago

    Kimberley, thanks for helping me start a new tradition in my family. My 2 and 1 year old niece are celebrating Christmas with me in my new locale this year, and I'm soo~ anticipating their fingers all over the dough! Best Wishes! ~Michelle

  • LusciousHoney

    LusciousHoney said 8 years ago

    I LOVE anything cardamom! Thanks for the great idea!

  • enchiladamama

    enchiladamama said 8 years ago

    Yay! Not only am I going to try the cardamon cookies, but I see you have one for rosemary cookies in your archives as well. What the heck - it'll be a Double Savory Cookie Christmas for us!

  • magicvelvets

    magicvelvets said 8 years ago

    Mmm, need cookies......

  • groovyrooby

    groovyrooby said 8 years ago

    just cooled, frosted, sprinkled, and swooned over these. STUNNING. most impressive. big & small snowflakes with silver sugars and a cocoa/coffee/sugar sprinkle. all breathtaking, if do say so myself. the dough looked a little dry until i got my hands on it. kneading really helped bring it together. thank you SO SO much for this recipe.

  • VandACreations

    VandACreations said 8 years ago

    I love, love, love cardamom I have to give these a try! Thanks for the recipe

  • aktina

    aktina said 8 years ago

    I have tried this cookies today and have to say that they are more than delicious!Thanks sooo much for the recipe :)

  • janetlyn

    janetlyn said 8 years ago

    So excited to make these, thank you for the recipe! I've been wanting to make this since I first saw it weeks ago!! Finally broke down and purchased the cardamom. YAY!!! Can't wait. Great photos, too!

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