Criticizing is easy, it comes naturally to most of us, I guess. I’ve done my share of criticizing The Food TV Network, going on and on about the good old times when their shows were actually about cooking, not endless competitions. One example: Cutthroat Kitchen. I mean, here we have a guy like Alton Brown, who joined the network with the goal of showing home cooks the science behind food preparation, the tricks of developing a perfect recipe. Now, he hosts a show I find incredibly silly. And I am not alone. Hummm, did I say I was done with criticism? Sorry, I got carried away. I am here to actually praise The Kitchen, a weekly show on FoodTV I enjoy quite a bit. One of the things I like is the sense of spontaneity behind it. Marcela Valladolid is charming, adorable, knowledgeable, and I am a huge fan of Geoffrey Zakarian. Jeff Mauro is witty, and seems like a very genuine person, the more I watch the show, the more I like him. They have features like Tool Takedown, interesting and fun. The whole idea is to test a gadget that is supposed to perform a specific task, say peel apples. One person will use it and another will grab a veggie peeler or a regular knife, and they compete to see who does it better and/or faster. For the most part, they demonstrate that single-use gadgets are a waste of money and storage space. I also love a feature called “You Put What in your What?”. As the name indicates, it involves unusual additions to recipes, or crazy food combinations. And that brings me to this post. I hope you’re ready for it.
I know, it scared me too! But, please, don’t run away screaming. These cookies are delightful, the pictures do absolutely no justice to them. I baked them early in the morning while the kitchen was still dark and had to take pictures under very unforgiving lights. You’ll need to make the dough at least 4 hours before baking, the day before is even better, so plan accordingly. I found the recipe at the The Spice House website. Of course, being the spice cookie lover that I am, and reading the rave reviews of those who made them, I could not wait to bake a batch.
CURRY CARDAMON COOKIES
(adapted from The Spice House website)
Yields approximately 6 dozen cookies
(I made half the recipe and got 30 cookies)
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted, chopped
Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Sift dry ingredients together. Add to creamed mixture, a third at a time. Stir in nuts.
Divide dough into four rolls and wrap each in waxed paper. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (may also be frozen).
Slice into ¼-inch slices and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven until golden brown, 12-14 minutes. Let cookies cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet, then remove to a rack to cool thoroughly.
to print the recipe, click here
I often tell our students to read the protocol carefully before starting a new experiment. Sometimes it would be nice to listen to my own advice. The bit of “refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours” caught me unprepared. It was 9 pm and my intention was to bake them before going to sleep. Instead, I had to stick the dough in the fridge and resort to plan B: turn the oven on at 5:30am next day… Oh, well…
They puff quite a bit while baking and release a fantastic aroma that will fill your home with joy and tail-wagging dogs.
Can you tell there is curry in them? I doubt it. Actually Phil could, but I suspect he’s got a mass spectrometer in his nose, that man identify smells like nobody’s business. Our students thought they had ginger. I wish the pictures turned out better, but trust my words: these are GREAT cookies. You know why I say that? I normally have one cookie of every batch I bake, no matter how tasty. This was a FOUR COOKIE downfall. I had four. One at home to make sure they were good enough to share, and the others during our lab meeting. They seem so harmless, but in my opinion they join all goodness a cookie should have: sweetness that is not cloying, and a peppery, salty, addictive taste that mixed with the walnuts makes you go back for just one more. Maybe three.
This is another example of a cookie that will not win a beauty contest, I admit. But please, make them, share with friends, and dare them to guess the secret ingredient!
ONE YEAR AGO: In My Kitchen, March 2014
TWO YEARS AGO: The Blogger and the Shrink
THREE YEARS AGO: The Wheat-Berry Transmogrification
FOUR YEARS AGO: Curried Zucchini Soup
FIVE YEARS AGO: Roasted Onion and Asiago Cheese Miche