08 April, 2012

Cardamom and Lemon Stamped Cookies

Woohoo! I'm back in the baking saddle (so to speak) and there's just no stopping me! My poor kitchen has taken a bit of a bashing over the past couple of days, the guilt of neglecting him got too much. My belly is loving all the delicious baked goodies but my thighs are screaming out to be saved. Does it count that I went cycling yesterday? And I did 12.5 miles?! Biking and baking, get me!

I love the Hairy Bikers (do you like my feeble attempt at a biking and baking link? Sorry kids) and I wanted to bake these cookies as soon as I saw the recipe on their new programme, Hairy Bikers' Bakation. Have you seen it yet? It's great! They're travelling across Europe on their motorbikes, visiting artisan bakers along the way and trying their hand at baking traditional recipes from each country. If you haven't seen it you're missing a treat and I've lost count of the number of times I've declared that 'I want that job' *sigh*. A girl can dream...

The cookie recipe is from the episode when they visited Norway - look at the view they had when baking.

Check out my view

In your face, Bikers.

Anyway, the cookies! Lemons have to be one of my all time favourite ingredients and I will almost always choose a lemon dessert if ever we go out for food. I've only ever used cardamon in savoury dishes and was intrigued to see how it tasted in a sweet treat. Knowing that cardamom is a very fragrant, almost overpowering spice I was worried when I saw how much was needed in the recipe and I didn't want it to be another case of 'Emma, I can't eat this', (Ian isn't cardamom's greatest fan) but to my surprise they were a massive hit!

I'd've liked a bigger hit of lemon in the cookie, so next time I'd ramp it up by zesting two lemons and the cardamom, thankfully, doesn't overwhelm the taste. It is a well known fact that I get easily distracted, which, truth be told, is a real pain in the arse and I may have left them a little too long in the oven (note to self: BUY A TIMER) as they were more golden in colour the than I wanted, but beautifully crisp.

Cardamom and Lemon Stamped Cookies
Hairy Bikers' Bakation

225g soft butter
150g caster sugar
zest of one lemon
250g plain flour
100g ground almonds
1 heaped tsp cardamom seeds, ground in a pestle and mortar

Preheat the oven to 190C
Line 2 large baking trays with baking parchment.

Using an electric hand-whisk, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the flour, almonds and cardamom until the mixture is well combined and comes together to form a stiff dough.

Roll the dough into 24 balls and place 12 on each baking tray – make sure you leave space between each one. Press each cookie with a cookie stamp or the bottom of a glass to flatten and leave decorative indentations in the dough (I didn't have a stamp so I used the bottom of a glass)

Bake a tray at a time for 12–14 minutes until the cookies are pale golden brown. Leave them to cool on the tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. They will crisp up as they cool. Store the cookies in an airtight tin and eat within 7 days (if possible!)

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