Who isn’t drawn to a pretty, delicate-looking cookie? I’m a sucker for this sort of thing and with Spring here and Easter just around the corner, I was inspired to make these sugar cookies. The cardamom sugar cookie recipe hails from Williams-Sonoma, border icing from The Kitchn and flood icing from Every Day Occasions. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices. Its flavor is subjective according to individual palates and for me it exudes a spicy, herbal, citrusy character. It can be the predominant spice or as a background note. Cardamom goes well with cinnamon, ginger, clove combinations and is the third-most expensive spice in the world after saffron and vanilla. It is known as The Queen of Spices (The King of Spices is black pepper) and belongs to the ginger family.
For the cookies:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the border icing:
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or other flavoring extract
2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons milk or water
Food coloring, optional
For the flood icing:
4 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons of milk
1 tablespoon of light corn syrup
3-4 cups of icing sugar
To make the cookies, in a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom; set aside. In a bowl beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and egg. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Mix until just combined. Form the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick. Use cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets, and bake until just golden around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the cookies from the pans and let cool completely.
To make the flood icing, in a microwave-proof mixing bowl, heat butter and milk together in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until butter is melted. Mix in corn syrup and icing sugar and whisk until smooth. Add more icing sugar or milk to achieve the correct consistency. This icing is a slightly thinner version of the border icing. It should flow until it fills the entire cookie.
Arrange cookies on wax paper. Using the border icing first, trace the outline of the cookie using a disposable pastry bag or squeeze bottle (I prefer this). Next, use the flood icing to fill in the area. Allow icing to dry – about 10 minutes.