Cardamom Crinkle Cookies

Happy Food Blogger Cookie Swap Day!

This year, I am fortunate enough to participate in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015. What does this mean? Participants make a small donation to this year's charity, COOKIES FOR KIDS’ CANCER, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease. We each receive three names of other food bloggers and mail them a dozen cookies! You get a delicious surprise from a stranger -- how fun!

Today's the day when we can reveal our matches, our recipes, and what we received. I sent these tasty Cardamom Crinkle Cookies to my assigned matches. They seemed to ship well, even though I crammed them in the mailing box. They're beautifully crinkly on the outside, but chewy on the inside. The cardamom provides a smoky and spicy flavor that is not to be missed. The ginger and molasses help with that too ;-)

Who did I send my cookies to? I was assigned three awesome food blogs:

Holly at Happy Food, Healthy Life
Megan at The Emotional Baker
Shaina at Take a Bite Out of Boca

What did I receive in the mail?
1. Trashed Up Peppermint Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Liz at Pumpkin & Peanut Butter. I got these before Thanksgiving and I was so pumped! Liz and I have been blogger friends for over a year, so I was sooooo excited to get cookies from her! They were delicious and devoured quickly.

Vegan Cardamom Crinkle Cookies FB Cookie Swap 77.jpg

2. Roasted Almond Thumbprints from Devangi at Pistachio Doughnut. I received my last two sets of cookies right around December 2nd, so there were a lot of cookies in the house! These cookies had a rich almond cookie with a jam filling. They were truly yummy.

3. Pecan Turtle Thumbprint Cookies from Hetal at Pretty Polymath. If you love nuts, these cookies are for you! My husband gobbled these up immediately. (Pssst Hetal also competed in Season 6 of Master Chef...and I got her cookies! How awesome is that?!)

Now, back to my cookies and the recipe...

Cardamom Tips
If you live near a specialty spice store, you should be able to find both black and green cardamom, sometimes only in pod form. Black cardamom has a smoky and spicy flavor, while the green has no smoke and the same kind of spice. If you are unfamiliar with cardamom, I've heard it referred to as the cinnamon of India. In my recipe, I had black cardamom pods and cardamom powder -- at the very least, you should be able to find (green) cardamom powder at your grocery store, in the spice aisle.

For this recipe, you can place the black cardamom pods (or green) into the rolling sugar two or three days ahead of time. You want to infuse that sugar with the smoky scent. You can also use a spice grinder to grind the black cardamom seeds and sprinkle that in as well. If neither of those options sound good, simply take some cardamom powder and sprinkle it in with the rolling sugar.

Cardamom Crinkle Cookies
Adapted from Food 52

1 c. organic cane sugar
3/4 c. organic non-hydrogenated shortening, or softened vegan butter*
1/4 c. molasses
1 T. flax seed, ground
3 T. warm water
2 c. organic flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves (ground)
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/8 tsp. black pepper -- good, I promise!

1/2 c. organic cane sugar, for rolling
pinch of cardamom, for rolling

*The original recipe calls for you to melt the butter/shortening. Originally, I did it this way and they turned out well. For the second batch, I just creamed the shortening and they still turned out well. (Perhaps the melted butter yielded slightly crinklier cookies, but I can't be sure.)

Preheat the oven to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small cup, combine the flax and water.  Stir and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes, until thickened.

In the mean time, combine your dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl: flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, and pepper. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the cup of sugar with the shortening. Add the molasses and flax mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet. Your dough should be nice and thick! (If you melted your butter/shortening, the dough will be shinier.)

Using a cookie scoop, scoop out even-sized dollops of dough and roll them into balls using your hands. Roll the ball in  the sugar/cardamom mixture and place it on the cookie sheet. Repeat this with all of the dough. Using your fingers, smush the cookies down slightly; they will spread a little, so space them out accordingly.

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, depending on how large they are. Mine took closer to 10 minutes. Allow them to cool on the tray for at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. 

Enjoy these spicy cardamom cookies! They will stand out on your Christmas party tray ;-)