It was a cold winter day. You know, one of those days when you actually want to stay at home and simply don’t go to work, college or school. You just want to curl up under a blanket and spend the whole day watching some good show or reading your favorite book. Well, on one of those days I was desperately craving something sweet. I was thinking to myself: “Maybe some chocolate would be good”, but actually, that was too easy. Then I realized I need some chocolate cookies that I can eat along with a good cup of coffee or dip into a glass of cold milk. Chocolate cookies will smell like oranges because citruses and winter are a total match and what can go better with oranges than versatile cardamom. And ta-daaaa, the recipe was born! Decadent, irresistibly crumbly, and double chocolate, these cookies are one little sweet sin that we can allow for ourselves, from time to time. You probably all know that famous quote that’s been circulating on the Internet for quite some time:
“Chocolate comes from cocoa, which is a plant. That makes it a plant. Chocolate is salad.”
Well, I can live with that.
About cardamom and sablé cookies
Do you know that in India cardamom is called the Queen of Spices? After vanilla and saffron, cardamom is the third most expensive spice in the world. Actually, we shouldn’t be surprised by this fact because the process of harvesting cardamom lasts up to several months, it’s harvested manually and it can be cultivated only in some parts of the world, like Guatemala, Sri Lanka, India, and Tanzania. As you probably know, some spices have their own doppelgängers and cardamom is also one of those spices. In this recipe, I’ve used ground seeds of real green cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), but there is also black cardamom (Amomum subulatum) and red cardamom or Cao Guo (Amomum costatum) which are quite different spices, with much stronger flavors and therefore cannot be used in the same way.
Also, for this recipe, I was inspired by French sablé cookies (sablé can be translated literally as “sand”) that originate from Normandy, the region in the north of France. They actually remind me of my Valentine’s day shortbread cookies, but still, they are quite different.
Irresistible Orange Cardamom Chocolate Cookies
- 220 g room temperature butter (cut in cubes)
- 120 g semisweet chocolate (43% cocoa)
- 75 g powdered sugar
- 220 g all-purpose flour
- 40 g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 30 g corn starch
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 baking powder
- 1/2 tbsp ground cardamom
- 1 spoon orange zest (organic)
- 80 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
- Fleur de sel (for sprinkling at the top, optional)
- Cream together diced butter, sifted powdered sugar, vanilla extract, orange zest, and a pinch of salt. You can do this with an electric mixer or food processor.
- Grate the chocolate. In other bowl mix sifted flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder, and ground cardamom, and then add grated chocolate.
- Add dry ingredients to a bowl of creamed butter and sugar and slowly mix together until combined. Transfer the dough to the working surface and use your hands for forming the dough into a log. For bigger cookies (like mine) make a log that is 5 cm in diameter. Wrap it in plastic foil and put it in a fridge for at least 2 hours or until firm enough so it can be cut with the knife. You can also even leave it overnight.
- When you're ready to bake cookies, preheat your oven to 170°C/338°F. Take the log from the refrigerator and cut it with a serrated knife into 1 cm thick rounds. Transfer them to the baking sheet in which you've previously put baking paper. Leave some space in between because they will spread.
- Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes. They shouldn't be too hard when you take them out of the oven but also not too soft. They will harden when they cool completely. After they have chilled a little bit, transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Decorate with melted dark chocolate and Fleur de sel.