Cardamom! This highly prized ancient spice has an intense, aromatic flavour that brings out the best in both sweet and savoury dishes. In some countries it has a well-celebrated reputation as an aphrodisiac, in other countries, you’ll find people chewing on the seeds to freshen breath and to discourage harmful bacteria in the mouth.
In fact, cardamom has numerous, well-documented health benefits, dating back to ancient times (for more info check out my article here: All About Cardamom and Its Health Benefits).
Those around me, know that I have a particular passion for cardamom, so I am especially excited to share my recipe for Cardamom & Cashew Shortbread Cookies.
These little melt-in-the-mouth beauties are infused with freshly ground cardamom pods, gently sweetened with maple syrup and coconut sugar and filled with a delectable hint of cashew nuts.
Gluten-free and totally plant-based as always.
You’ve got to massage this pastry with love. We are making a gluten-free biscuit here, so you’ll need to abandon all ideas of how you might have made cookies before with wheat flour.
One of the important keys in this recipe is the coconut oil and syrup sweetener. There should be JUST the right amount of moisture to bring everything together to perfection. So massage and squash it all together until it holds together nicely. After that, you’ll shape into cookie shapes. Remember to use your fingers to create those lovely ridges too.
If for some reason after mixing and squashing it all together, if yours still doesn’t ‘hold’, then you can always add a little bit more of coconut oil or maple syrup – and that should do the trick.
I’ve created a little quick video, to make the process so easy to follow and take you through it all step-by-step. Please do take a couple of minutes to watch it before you begin…
- 4 heaped tablespoons (60g) cashew nuts
- 10 cardamom pods
- 100g (3/4 cup) brown rice flour
- 100g (1 cup) tapioca flour (or tapioca starch)
- 2 heaped tablespoons ground flaxseeds
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
- Crush the cashew nuts with a pestle and mortar (alternatively crush with a rolling pin). Aim for rustic cashew chunks (i.e. partly chunky, partly starting to turn to flour).
- Take the shells off 10 cardamom pods and crush to a powder with a pestle and mortar (see my video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpTALsGbWdU).
- Add all ingredients to mixing bowl and mix together thoroughly. Start off with a spoon, before using your hands to press, knead and combine everything together, until you get one compacted shape.
- Divide into golf ball sizes. Roll into balls and then gently compress downwards between your hands, until you get a cookie shape.
- Pop in the oven at gas mark 4 (350F/180C) for between 20 - 25 minutes (depending on your oven).
- They won't really tan that much. Once baked, carefully place on a cooling rack and allow to cool. Cooling will allow them to firm up; nice firm on the outside - softer on inside.
- They're best served on the day... I mean who can wait!
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.