Ginger-Cardamom Cookies

A chewy, highly spiced ginger-cardamom cookie that’s not overly sweet and remains delicious even a week after baking. My recipe is adapted from Carey Nershi’s Smoky Cardamom Ginger-Molasses Cookies, published by Food 52.

This recipe is easy enough to make with children. However, a resting period for the dough—at least overnight—yields the chewiest, most perfectly formed cookies.

Makes about 80 cookies.


31/2 sticks of butter (28 tablespoons) at room temperature, or the equivalent amount of plain ghee at room temperature
25 green cardamom pods (if not using fresh green pods, use 1/2 teaspoon of powdered cardamom).
1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of dark brown or light brown sugar
½ cup regular or mild unsulfured molasses
2 eggs
2 cups bread flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger (the dry spice)
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Large pinch of powdered allspice

½ cup of white sugar on a plate, for cookie rolling


  1. Prepare the cardamom. Slit open the pods and carefully remove the seeds. Be sure to discard the pods. You will be left with a small amount of seeds that should either be pounded fine with a mortar and pestle, or whizzed in an electric spice grinder/clean coffee grinder. The yield is 1/2-3/4 teaspoon. I use all of it, but you can reduce to a 1/2 teaspoon if you are feeling cautious.
  2. Get a huge bowl out and fill it with the two types of flour, the baking soda, salt, and all the spices including black pepper and ground cardamom.
  3. In a regular sized mixing bowl, cream the butter or ghee with both sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses and eggs until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Transfer the wet ingredients to the large bowl with the flour and spices. Beat with a handheld mixer or stir with a big spoon until you’ve made a moist dough.
  5. Cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator at least eight and up to 72 hours. This resting time for the dough will chill the fat and hydrate the flour for a better bake.
  6. It’s baking time! Work with very cold dough to avoid cookie spread. Preheat oven to 375 regular or 350 convection. Roll 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball and then lightly roll in the sugar. Place on baking sheets lined with ungreased parchment or a a nonstick baking mat such as a Silpat. Cookies should be spaced at least two inches apart. With the baking sheets I have, I bake four cookie sheets with 18-20 cookies per sheet.
  7. Bake 8-9 minutes. Straight out of the oven, the cookies are very soft, but they will firm up. Wait at least two minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Store cookies in a canister or tin at room temperature, unless you want to freeze them. For mailing as gifts, you could tightly wrap each cookie in press-and-seal plastic for extra freshness, or just use a piece of apple in the box or tin to maintain moisture. If this recipe is too large for you, it can be halved. Also, rolled balls of dough can be frozen and baked later on.