Make Ahead: The dough needs to be refrigerated for about 1 hour. The cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for about 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
Servings: 84 cookies
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling
Sift together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, 1 teaspoon of the cardamom and the salt in a large bowl.
Combine the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Increase the speed to high and beat until very light and fluffy, 2 or 3 minutes, stopping a couple of times to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the speed to medium and beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla extract. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add about one-third of the dry ingredients; beat on low speed until fully incorporated. Repeat two more times, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Cover and refrigerate for about an hour, until firm.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, positioning the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
Stir together the granulated sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon of cardamom in a medium bowl. Use a #100 disher (a 3/4-tablespoon scoop) or a tablespoon to scoop small balls of dough, a few at a time, into the sugar-cardamom mixture, then roll the pieces to coat them and lightly roll them into balls between your palms, pressing the sugar mixture into the dough. Arrange the cookies 2 inches apart on each baking sheet.
Bake two sheets at a time for 5 minutes, then rotate the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes, until the tops of the cookies are crackled and the edges are just barely browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving or storing. Use a strainer to sift any extra cardamom-sugar mixture onto the cookies (this will keep separate any clumps of dough that might be left in the sugar).
Repeat to use all of the dough.
From Food editor Joe Yonan, from his "Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One" (Ten Speed Press, 2011).
Tested by Joe Yonan.
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