Smoky Cardamom Ginger Cookies

‘Tis the season to make a LOT of cookies.  So I’mma do it, just this once.

This recipe stars black cardamom, which is a warming spice (for example, it is a component of garam masala), principally used in savory cooking. Well, not this time!

FullSizeRenderAccording to Serious Eats,  black cardamom is relative of green cardamom, but not the same plant. Black cardamom is dried over an open fire, giving it a powerful smokey aroma. Beneath that are notes of resin and camphor, as well as green cardamom’s menthol/slightly minty aromas that provide balance to a funky kick.

And it. Is. Funky.  Accordingly…

r-2376969-1319717939-jpeg♫ Music Pairing: Smokey Feeling. ♫

This funky, smokey track comes from a 1974 album by a Barbadian band by the name of The Organization.  Dig it.


Adapted from Carey Nershi


  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter (this time it is important!)
  • black cardamom pods
  • cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • egg
  • cups flour
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked salt (see, that’s why)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sugar (for rolling)


  1. Crack open the cardamom pods and remove seeds. Grind up the seeds and set aside.
  2. Combine the butter and empty cardamom pods in a small saucepan. Heat on medium-low until the butter has completely melted and begins to foam slightly. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes, remove and discard the cardamom pods and transfer the butter to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Cover and let the butter cool to room temperature.
  5. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, spices, and reserved ground cardamom.
  6. Add the sugar to the butter and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses and the egg.
  7. Gradually beat in dry ingredients until just combined. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
  8. Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment.
  9. Fill a small bowl with 1/2 cup of sugar. Form batter into balls and roll in sugar.  Space 2 inches apart on baking sheet.
  10. Bake for about 8 minutes.

Smoky cardamom 2

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