I have been on a cardamom kick ever since I made garam masala at Christmas. There is nothing better than toasting fresh green cardamom pops and painstakingly husking them to get the super aromatic tiny seeds. For this recipe, I used ground cardamom as it is so much easier but next time I will try it with the fresh seeds. I love the texture and flavor the ground coffee adds to the shortbread. This recipe comes from book, The New Sugar and Spice.
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, nearly room temp
2 teaspoons ground coffee (a light or medium roast)
1 tsp. cardamom seeds (or 1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom)
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. almond or hazelnut meal
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup packed muscavado sugar (or dark brown sugar)
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325′. Butter 9″ fluted tart pan or spring form pan.
Grind your spices until very finely ground. In a large bowl, whisk together the spice mixture, flour, nut meal, powdered sugar, muscavado or brown sugar and salt to mix. Into a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, beat in the butter and vanilla to combine.
TIp the dough into the prepared pan using wet fingers. Press it into an even layer on the bottom, all the way to the edges. Freeze it until firm, about 15 minutes.
Bake the shortbread on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any leaking butter. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is golden brown. Immediately, and while the dough is still warm, use a sharp paring knife to score the shortbread into wedges or slices as you wish. Set on a rack to cool completely. When it’s cool, remove the cookie and gently break it apart along it’s edges.
Store the shortbread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for a month.