The church biscuit: 61. Swedish cardamom and almond cookies

A friend gave us a big bag of ripe red eating apples recently and as there were so many of them I stewed a panful straightaway. For a few days we had stewed apple with everything and then I thought I’d make what remained into biscuits. The result was more like a light scone with not enough of the apple about them – rather nice but a bit bland for the church biscuit. (Would be very good with cheese.) I will try the recipe again with more apple … and possibly some white chocolate chunks. Perhaps they also need a bit more texture – oats or roughly chopped nuts. By now it’s obvious that apple biscuits are something of a work in progress. Instead,  I turned to a recipe of Elisabeth Luard’s found in an old Country Living magazine from February 2008 and these were just the thing, the light touch of a few cardamom seeds making them quite different from any other biscuits I’ve made.

Swedish cardamom and almond cookies

Swedish cardamom and almond cookies

100g ground almonds (the more roughly  ground the better)

100 g unsalted butter, well softened

100g caster sugar

1 egg, separated

125 g plain flour (only had spelt, so used that)

12 cardamom pods – seeds only

1/4 teasp freshly ground pepper

24 slivers of almond for the top of the biscuit

icing sugar optional to finish

Swedish cardamom and almond cookies

Swedish cardamom and almond cookies

Makes 12 biscuits of 5 cm diameter or 24 smaller ones.

Heat oven to 180º F/ 160º F fan oven/ Gas Mark 3

Cream butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Beat in the egg yolk. Toss the cardamon seeds and pepper into the flour and roughly crushed nuts and mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Beat until the dough begins to adhere and can be gathered into a ball.

Roll out the dough into a sausage, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for half an hour. (I make 2 sausages as I like smaller biscuits.)

With a sharp knife dipped in hot water, slice the dough into 12 or 24 disks. Place on non-stick baking sheet (no need to butter). Brush the top of the biscuit with the egg white and top with  a sliver of almond.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until cookies crisp and golden. Transfer to a rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar if desired. As they cool, they become more crisp … and even better.


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  1. Posted August 26, 2015 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Cardamom is one of my favourite spices – must try this one!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted August 26, 2015 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      I’m somewhat new to it – can’t think why. How do you like using it, Rachel?

  2. Posted August 26, 2015 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    This looks like my kind of biscuit. Very elegant somehow, I think it’s the neat shape and the sliver of almond on top that does it x

    • Mary Addison
      Posted August 26, 2015 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      You’re right, Penny. They do have an elegant look, which along with the subtle flavour makes for rather a sophisticated little biscuit (and somehow not a cookie at all)!

  3. Posted September 1, 2015 at 10:01 am | Permalink


    • Mary Addison
      Posted September 4, 2015 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      Very yummy!

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