It is officially autumn.
I’m living in giant sweaters and boots, and just got a new coat.
I painted my nails red this weekend and settled in for a Gilmore Girls marathon (that burgundy pre-Instagram filter on the opening credits just instantly puts you in the fall mood).
And I’ve had my favorite Christmas-y smelling candle lit all weekend.
So obviously this weekend when I settled in for some baking, I knew I needed cinnamon and browned butter involved, and it seemed the logical next step to throw in some other winter/autumn spices: cardamom, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and ginger. They are crisp on the outside and cakey on the inside–the perfect snickerdoodle.
The real reason I baked was because I have a friend coming over for a visit, but even though I normally have pretty good self-control over leaving my baking be after a taste test, I just cannot stop eating these things. (Cleverly, I made them bite-size so even though I’ve had at least half a dozen already, it looks like I’ve barely made a dent. Pro baking tip from me to you!)
I’ve been doing pretty well on Christmas presents this year for faraway friends but for locals, these are my go-to gift.
I saw this recipe via Pinterest on Savory Simple and knew they were the perfect cookie to make. Super easy, buttery, shortbread-textured cookies with cardamom in them!? They don’t even require eggs! Yes, please!
Longtime readers know cardamom is one of my favorite spices (because I’m Norwegian). So you can imagine it is taking all of my willpower not to eat all of these cookies right now instead of letting them cool to pack them up as presents…
Well, guess what?
“Winter is here!” … Says the weird, adorable beaky bird guy from Anthropologie.
Guess what else?
Winter calls for a sea of warm, spicy, snappy cookies. Like these.
They’re as fragrant as a candle and will make your whole apartment smell the way winter should smell: dense, nutty, sweet, spicy.
These are almost like an uber-ginger-butter-cookie. The dough is a lot like a shortbread, although still crisp. Although I had some serious frustrations with the recipe (see below), the flavor is deep and dense and really wonderful. Adjusted below, these are a keeper.
Thanks as always to the fabulous ladies of Anthropologie: Shannon, Annie, Kim, Tera, and Kim’s talented intern, Katelyn, who created this beautiful display! (Full disclosure: This month’s Tasting Tuesday was totally a Tasting Wednesday. The snow was way too crazy here in Milwaukee to venture far from home on Tuesday!)
Come join me next month on February 21!
I really love coffee. If you had told me when I was in high school that I would even be able to stomach coffee, I would have thought you were crazy. But then I went abroad — to Italy — and that was that. Espresso, freshly made by host mother every morning, combined with a rich latte every afternoon, simply did me in, and now I’m addicted.
Every so often the fact that I’m technically addicted to a drug (caffeine) floats into my mind. Every so often (like this week) I drink a bit too much coffee and am off the wall all afternoon and evening. At those moments I worry about myself a little bit. But most of the time coffee is a treat to savor and enjoy while I click through my inbox in the morning… Or, on the weekends, while I push emails out of my mind and watch the clouds floating over the lake outside my window, and the changing trees, now leafless, trying fruitlessly to resist the Midwest wind.
This month’s Tasting Tuesdays cookbook gave me the idea to brew my usual French pressed coffee with a dash of cardamom, so I thought I’d share here my favorite way to make coffee.
It might not be your favorite way to make coffee. (I think my mom, for one, would not think that this is brewed anywhere near strong enough.) But try it and tweak it and make it your favorite.
And may it make your weekday inbox dealings more pleasant, and your weekends all the sweeter. Continue reading
Remember how I was excited for fall in my last post? Well, this weekend I was cleaning out all my digital photos and I came across views out of my window where the streets are slushy, the trees exhausted and drooping under inches of snow, the sky a dull grey, and the light in my apartment frosty blue.
Um. About that. I’m not rescinding my excitement about fall, exactly, but I think my enthusiasm needs to be dampened. I’m not ready to lose the warm summer sunlight yet. I want to keep the fresh fruit and red tomatoes and bright green grass and leaves on the trees. I am not ready for the endless string of grey days where I’m stuck wearing a gigantic marshmallow sleeping bag coat, navigating patches of black ice to get to work.
So I made these transitional cookies. Let’s make some fashion metaphors. They are the windbreaker of your youth… the flats instead of flip-flops… the light, breezy scarf. They are bright sunny days of fall, ready for spices but holding onto fresh fruit.
And I don’t know how I managed to do this, but these big, soft, cakey cookies taste like peaches and cream popsicles. I’m not kidding. It’s like a popsicle without the melting or the leftover stick–only the warmth of cardamom combined the fresh fruit popsicle flavor of summer.
PS. Please don’t forget to visit me at Anthropologie on Tuesday, September 20 for Tasting Tuesdays! I’d love to meet you. Continue reading
Okay. Full disclosure time. These cookies are not my best work. Somehow they were still pretty popular at the office. But I’m a perfectionist…
It was really the buttercream that did it in. The original recipe’s buttercream did not come together, it was not white and fluffy and pretty, and it made me really sad, because nothing sounds more delicious than cardamom buttercream, right? I’m not sure what I did wrong, but that’s okay: I have included my mother’s buttercream recipe instead on this post, adjusted with a hint of cardamom. I know that it is delicious and I wish I had been smart enough to make that icing in the first place!
Also, watch out: these cookies are really, really sweet. (I think I may have been a bit overzealous with my fancy cinnamon.) I think they still need some tweaking. I haven’t decided if I’ll make them again, but if you do, share your changes!