These cookies are inspired by the centuries-old method of making Turkish coffee – which is distinctively strong, dark and often flavoured with cardamom pods. The inclusion of sweet white chocolate offers a wonderful contrasting flavour to the coffee. Add chopped pistachios or walnuts to the cookie batter if you like, but the simplicity of these aromatic flavours together is lovely as it is. Here’s a white chocolate cookies recipe with espresso and cardamom.
Extract from The Modern Spice Rack by Rachel Walker and Esther Clark (£22, Hardie Grant)
Takes: 35 mins, plus 30 mins chilling
Effort level: A little effort
- 10 green cardamom pods
- 120 g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 80 g (3 oz/scant 1⁄2 cup) soft light brown sugar
- 60 g (2 oz/1⁄4 cup) golden caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 100 g (31⁄2 oz/generous 3⁄4 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 80 g (3 oz/generous 3⁄4 cup) wholemeal rye flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt flakes, plus extra for sprinkling (optional)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 150 g (5 oz) white chocolate, chopped into rough chunks
- Bash open the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar to release the black seeds, then grind them to a coarse powder.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or with an electric hand-held whisk in a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars at a medium speed for 5 minutes, or until well combined but not too aerated. Add the coffee, egg yolks and vanilla and mix again. Add the cardamom, flours, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and chocolate, and mix briefly to combine.
- Line 2 large baking sheets with baking parchment. Scoop the cookie dough into 12 nuggets, weighing for accuracy if you like (they should be about 50 g/2 oz each). Roll each one into a neat ball. Space them well apart on the lined baking sheets and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C fan (350°F/gas 6).
- Bake for 10–12 minutes, then leave to cool completely on the baking sheets. Sprinkle with a little extra salt, if you like. These will store well in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Add cardamom to your favourite coffee and walnut cake recipes. The seeds of 7 pods, crushed and added to the dry ingredients, will work really well.
- Cardamom also pairs well with rich, dark chocolate flavours, so add it to brownies with chopped pistachios or a triple chocolate cake.
- Cardamom and pear is a lovely combination; add the seeds to a pear crumble or poach pears in a sugar syrup infused with cardamom.
Rachel Walker was working on the food desk at the Sunday Times when she founded the award-winning RootedSpices in 2018, which sells single-origin and ethically-sourced spices.
Esther Clark trained and worked as a chef in Italy and Northern India. She now works as a freelance food/recipe writer and food stylist and her clients include: Guardian Feast, Sainsbury’s Magazine, Waitrose Food Magazine,Marks and Spencers, Ocado Magazine, the BBC and many more.
White Chocolate Cookies Recipe with Espresso and Cardamom from The Modern Spice Rack