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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cardamom Sugar Cookies

These cookies might look rather plain but they are marvellous! (I got the recipe from - I believe Recipezaar has morphed into In fact I have butter and an egg coming to room temperature right this evening to make another batch.

I also intend making them for an event next week, but then I'll add a few squiggles of white royal icing to give them a festive air.

The dough is kept in the fridge for a few hours then rolled out. At first I got very frustrated as it was too soft and it was impossible to peel the surrounding dough from the cutout cookie. The solution is to roll the dough when it's cold, then, after making the cutouts, put the tray with the cutouts in the fridge, for at least 15 minutes. The surrounding dough will then peel away easily from the cookie shape. Also, 1/4 of an inch in height is just the right level for the cookies; anything thinner would be even more difficult to work with. I found that about 12 minutes was right for the baking temp of 350 degrees F. Bake until they are slightly golden and turn the pan to prevent the cookies at the back getting too brown around the edges.

The best thing to bake on is a pizza tray (for any cookies for that matter) as it's so easy to just swirl it around rather than struggling with moving a rectangular tray.

Recipe for Cardamon Sugar Cookies (adapted from


1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


Beat butter and sugar together by hand or in a mixer, until pale and fluffy. Blend in egg and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cardamom and salt. Stir into butter mixture until just combined. Gather dough together, shape into 2 discs, wrap and chill until firm, about 1 to 2 hours, or freeze until ready to use (then thaw overnight in fridge). Preheat oven to 325°F. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out first disc of dough to just less than ¼-inch thick. Cut out desired shapes and lift with a spatula onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roll second disc, saving all scraps to re-roll for more cut-outs. If you choose, add sprinkles or other decorations onto cookies before baking. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until edges of cookies just begin to brown. Let cool before removing from tray. Cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Brown Sugar Bundt Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie

It's in the oven, a half size cake, which I will probably bake for about 40-45 minutes give or take. There are some very nice ingredients in it - fruit, grated orange rind (my addition), nuts, two essences - I think it's very promising.

My cake pan is a smaller size coffee cake pan with smoothe sides and base and quite a heavy consistency; for one thing, I prefer this shape and for another thing, my small, thin metal bundt pan has let me down twice by not releasing my cakes, in spite of lots of crisco and flour. I think this bad pan is on the way out.

The next day: the pic shows that my group was enjoying the cake. The flavor is as I expected - fruity and the texture was bouncy and soft. I would definitely make this again. The recipe is on the Pantry Revisited blog.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Basic Marbled Loaf Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie

It's a bright green and pink carnival cake, mainly because the green coloring squirted out too much from the tube and I shook in too much of the red powder coloring. It was meant to be a delicate pale green and shell pink, flavored with almond essence.

But for the taste, it's a very nice loaf cake and it was very popular at work. I served it with whipped cream. I enjoyed learning the marbling technique, following the instructions exactly. Some of Dorie's alternative flavors must also be delicious - particularly the expresso and cardamon mix. Maybe I'll try that one for next time.

If you fancy making this cake, the recipe is here .