I was recently looking for a new cookie recipe that I could make for my dad. He prefers drier non-chocolatey cookies that go well with tea or coffee. After looking through tons of recipes, I found this one and though it sounded manageable (and it had a couple good reviews). I've never attempted a similar cookie before, so I was a little bit pessimistic, especially when I first started kneading the dough and was convinced the seemingly dry, crumbly mass would never form a dough.
These cookies aren't necessarily difficult to make, but they take time. The result is delicious! Within less than 24 hours, 3 of us had finished the batch. I also saved the scraps of dough that I trimmed away to form the rectangle. I used those to make mini palmiers, which were adorable, bite sized snacks (even more addictive thanks to their size). Though I haven't tried it yet, I imagine this dough would freeze well.
Recipe from Alice Medrich via finecooking.com
Makes 24 to 26 cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoon plus 2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon plus 1 pinch of salt
8 ounces cream cheese, cold
8 ounces (225 grams/ 2 sticks) butter, cold
2/3 teaspoon ground cardamom
In the bowl of a stand mixer fix with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Briefly mix to combine the ingredients. Cut the butter into 8 pieces and add to the bowl. Mix until coarse crumbs form in the dough, about 3 minutes. Cut the cream cheese into 1 inch pieces and add to the bowl. Mix on medium-low speed until the dough clumps around the paddle, about 1 minutes.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. It will not really resemble dough, but knead it until the dough comes together. Flatten dough out into a 6"x 3 1/2" cylinder, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until the dough is cold and slightly firm, about 2 hours.
When ready to make the cookies, remove the dough from the fridge. In a bowl, mix 2/3 cup of sugar with the cardamom. Set 2 tablespoons of the mixture aside, add a pinch of salt, and reserve. If it is too firm, allow it to sit out for a bit. Square off the dough, pressing the rounded edges onto your counter. Sprinkle your work surface with the sugar mixture. Begin rolling out the dough, turning and liberally sprinkling with sugar often. You will want to use most of the cardamom sugar (aside from the reserved 2 tablespoons) in this step. Roll the dough into a 24"x 8 " rectangle. Cut the edges of your dough to create the rectangle.
Make a small mark at the center of your dough. Begin at the short end of the dough, and fold a 2 1/2" section about a third of the way to the center. Make sure not to stretch the dough and fold it loosely. Fold the dough over 2 more times. Repeat on the other side. Leave a small gap between these 2 folded sides in the middle of your dough. Fold one side of the dough over onto the other, forming a log shape. Sprinkle the top and bottom of the dough with the remaining cardamom sugar (aside from the reserved 2 tablespoons). Wrap the dough in parchment or wax paper and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours.
Preheat your oven to 375ºF/190ºC. Make sure your oven racks are in the upper and lower third of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil. Removed the dough from your fridge and cut into 1/3" slices. Place cookies 1 1/2 inces apart on your baking sheet. Bake cookies until the under-sides of the cookies are golden 8 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from the top to bottom rack half way through baking.
Remove cookies from oven. Gently turn the cookies over and sprinkle with the reserved sugar mixture. Place back in oven and continue baking until the cookies have a deep golden color, another 3 to 7 minutes, rotating the baking sheets again half way through baking. Remove the cookies as they brown. Remove from oven, allow to cool, then store in an airtight container.
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