Chocolate Orange-Cardamon Cookies

When I saw this slice and bake cookie recipe in LHJ over the holidays, I was compelled to bake away -- perhaps the cardamon reminded me of my boy in India. I was decidedly not disappointed...they had the MOST interesting flavor, scent...novelty of ingredients. Divine with a cup of chai or tea in the afternoon.

Added plus...they are beautiful. Rich and sparkly discs of intense chocolate and cardamon.

If you, like moi, are still seeking the comfort of your kitchen and fire during yet another bitter cold spell, try them. Turn your chocolate cookie regimen on its head and dare to try something different. :)

Chocolate Orange-Cardamon Cookies

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cardamon
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp orange zest
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

( I used my marble mortar and pestle to grind up the spices...something I highly recommend as it makes the whole baking experience a much more sensual one...)

In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt and ground cardamom; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar with orange zest until fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla, then stir in the flour mixture. Blend until just combined, scraping sides of bowl as necessary.

Transfer dough to a square of parchment, form into a log 2 inches in diameter and roll tightly in parchment. Refrigerate until solid, about 1 hour, rotating every 20 min. to maintain shape.

Heat oven to 350 F. Lightly brush the dough log with egg white. Place sanding dough sugar and star sprinkles in a rimmed pan and rollin sprinkles until coated well. Or you can apply luster dust to the log with a soft brush. Slice the log into rounds that are about a 1/4 inch thick. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets an inch apart.

Bake until cookies are set and there is slight resistance when you touch centers, 9-10 minutes. Cool on pans. Store airtight up to one week. Bake a batch; save a batch...they freeze beautifully! (They would make a lovely gift with a box of your favorite Earl Grey.)

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