We discovered that cardamom is a really popular spice in Norway, used in many cake and biscuit recipes. Some say the spice was first brought back to the country hundreds of years ago by Vikings who worked as mercenaries in what was then Constantinople (now Istanbul). Whatever the truth, Norwegians are certainly keen on their cardamom.
We made these cookies on a boat on the Geiranger Fjord – a stunning spot.
3 tsp ground cardamom or 1 heaped tsp cardamom seeds, ground in a pestle and mortar
*This is the British term for sugar with small grains that are between granulated and icing sugar in terms of fineness. It is sometimes spelled castor sugar, and is known as ‘superfine’ sugar in America. Caster sugar is obtained from sugar cane or sugar beet, and is valued for its quick-dissolving properties. The usual refined white variety of caster sugar will have been treated to remove molasses, and so will be free-flowing.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with baking parchment.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy.
Beat in the flour, almonds and cardamom until the mixture is well combined and comes together to form a stiff dough.
Roll the dough into 24 balls and place 12 on each baking tray – make sure you leave space between each one.
Press each cookie with a cookie stamp to flatten and leave the design on the dough.
Bake a tray at a time for 12–14 minutes until the cookies are pale golden brown.
Leave them to cool on the tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. They will crisp up as they cool. Store the cookies in an airtight container and eat within 7 days.