Not all accidents are bad accidents.
These cookies, for example, were the result of a little kitchen disaster that turned into something mighty tasty.
I was talking to a friend, someone who wants to get into professional singing, over hockey and wine the other night, and I suggested that he make a blog or a YouTube account that he could post videos on as a way of getting some critical feedback.
He definitely wasn’t too keen on the idea, just because he’s worried about not being good enough — at least not yet.
I explained to him, though, that not everything I do turns out well. I make lumpy bread, curdle batter, and burn things occasionally — but you wouldn’t know it just from reading my blog. Stuff like that doesn’t usually make it into my posts.
This time, however, I’m going to totally admit that something went wrong.
See, originally these cookies were supposed to be walnut-flavoured, with a touch of sweet cinnamon and nuttiness from whole wheat flour, but… yeah. My plans went awry!
Maybe the walnuts were rancid from the start (I’d like to think so), or maybe it was because I roasted them waaay too long, but when I ground them up and folded them into the dough, those walnuts turned out to be bitter little bastards.
Ugh. I had to throw everything out and start over again!
So I went in a different direction with these cookies — partially because I had no more walnuts, partially because I was too irritated with walnuts in general to even go buy more, partially because I had a new vision: cardamom, coffee, and a hint of orange.
Now, these cookies are definitely good on their own. If you bake them and don’t want to bother with the buttercream filling, then I would recommend adding another pinch of cardamom to the mix.
But while these cookies are good on their own, the subtle combination of a buttery cardamom cookie with luscious coffee and orange filling truly pushes this recipe beyond the sum of its ingredients.
Anyways, um… yeah — the whole big point of this longer-than-usual post is this: if you have a hobby, do it. Better yet: blog about it.
Don’t worry about being green or not good enough. If you practice, you’ll get better. If you love it, it’ll show. And the best part about blogging is that it gives you opportunity put your best face forward, and leave your mistakes on the cutting room (kitchen) floor, if you want.
But it’s okay to be honest with your mistakes, too.
Now, on to cookies!
Cardamom Cream Sandwich Cookies
*adapted from House on the Hill
- 2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 3/4 cup salted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ~ 3 drops lemon extract
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder, like Starbucks VIA
- 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
- 1 ~ 2 tablespoons half & half cream
Cream the softened butter and cream cheese together until completely smooth.
Beat in the white sugar and brown sugar until the mixture becomes light and creamy, then beat in the egg yolk and extracts.
Sift the flour and cardamom together in a separate bowl. Gently mix the sifted flour into the batter until completely incorporated.
Shape the dough into a disc, wrap tightly in cling-wrap, and refrigerate overnight — doing this really does help improve the flavour and texture of the cookies.
Once the dough is thoroughly chilled, preheat your oven to 325°F (or 165°C).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll the chilled dough out to 1/4 inch (or a 1/2 centimeter thick). Use a round cookie cutter to cut out cookie dough circles.
Carefully transfer the pre-baked cookies to the prepared cookie sheet — you can place them very close together, since these cookies don’t spread while baking.
Baking tip: keep the baking sheet and cookie dough circles in the fridge until you’re ready to actually bake them — this helps the cookies bake more uniformly.
Bake for 12 ~ 14 minutes, or until the bottom edges of the cookies are lightly browned.
Once all the cookies are baked and cooled, it’s time to make the filling!
Cream the softened butter in a large bowl.
Add the icing sugar, a 1/2 cup at a time, to the creamed butter. After the first cup, working in the rest of the sugar might be a little bit difficult, since the butter-to-sugar ratio is fairly low.
Sprinkle the frosting with a bit of cream to help lighten the consistency if need be, and keep beating the frosting until it becomes smooth and creamy.
When all the icing sugar is worked into the frosting, beat in the instant coffee powder and orange extract until evenly distributed.
Use the frosting filling to make sandwich cookies immediately, since the frosting will start to dry and harden fairly quickly — you can slow down this process by either re-beating the frosting every 5 minutes or so, or by pressing cling-wrap directly onto the surface of the frosting while you work in small batches.
Once you’re done, go treat yourself a latte or a steamed milk, and dunk away! Yum!
Also, on a side note — if you’ve ever pondered starting a blog, then do it. It’s a great way to be personally creative, to be inspired by fellow bloggers, and stay disciplined through writing regularly.