Today I’m cooking for a holiday get together with friends we’re having this evening, but wanted to share a delicious recipe with you that is just perfect for this time of year.
These Afghan cardamom cookies are spicy and savory, and deliver a blast of cardamom flavor as they melt in your mouth.
They are also really simple to make, and take no more than a half-an-hour from sifting, to cooling rack, to table. Try them to add a different kind of Silk Road spice to your holiday dessert spread.
1 ½ cups white flour
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
½ cup melted butter, slightly cooled
¼ cup whole milk, warm
¼ cup ground pistachio nuts, plus a few whole nuts to press into cookies
Preheat the oven to 350°. Sift together the white flour with the sugar and ground cardamom. Add the butter and milk and mix well. Roll the dough into 1-inch round balls and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden around the edges.
Remove from the oven and press a whole pistachio into the center of the cookie as it cools. Sprinkle finely ground pistachios on top of the cookies while they are still hot.
(Makes about a dozen-and-a-half cookies.)
Variation: Substitute some lard or other animal fat for all or some of the butter for additional savory, umami flavor and mouthfulness. Life is hard in Afghanistan, and in lean times women will even use corn-oil to make these cookies. They turn out fine every time.