The temperature is dropping (slowly, but surely) and the days are getting shorter. Fall is approaching and I honestly can’t wait! I’ll be playing with fall flavors and new recipes will be coming shortly!
To celebrate the summer-to-fall transition, I thought I’d make something that embodied the change, and I think these cookie sandwiches do just that. The cookie is subtly spiced with ground cardamom, with a tender and crisp texture. And the filling is a bright and bold homemade orange curd that has a perfect balance of sweet and tart. Absolutely delicious!
This cookie is actually an adaptation of the Suger Gem Cookies recipe that I posted last winter. I changed the recipe in two ways: I substituted half of the butter for vegetable shortening and I added ground cardamom. The vegetable shortening made the cookies so crisp and tender, and the amount of cardamom just gives it a subtle flavor. Feel free to increase or decrease the amount of cardamom by about one tablespoon.
The orange curd is easy to make and so delicious. The recipe listed below will make more than enough curd for the cookie sandwiches, so you’ll have half a jar left. Halve the recipe if you do not want the excess.
This recipe can be adapted in so many ways. You can change the filling to a different type of curd or even caramel or dulce de leche. Or you could just make the cookies themselves! I decorated these with piped melted chocolate and pearl sprinkles, but that is up to you as well. I also made double the amount of cookie dough and stored half in the freezer so I can have cardamom cookies later in the fall!
These are easy to make, delicious to eat, and so pretty! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
Cardamom Cookies with Orange Curd
For the orange curd:
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tbsp orange zest
- 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cubed and chilled
For the cardamom cookies:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick), softened
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- melted chocolate for decoration (optional)
Make the orange curd*:
- In the top of a double boiler (you can make your own but placing a heatproof bowl on top of a saucepan with water), add your egg and yolks, sugar, salt, cornstarch, and zest. Whisk until light and fluffy.
- Add orange juice and lemon juice slowly and mix. Place double boiler onto medium heat.
- Stir continuously and, after about 10-20 minutes, the mixture should start to thicken. Continue until it coats the back of your spoon or spatula. Since this is a filling, you want to make sure you get it to the proper thickness.
- Once thickened, remove from heat. Gradually add the chilled cubes of butter one at a time. Stir and make sure each piece is well incorporated.
- Once all the butter has been incorporated, you can strain to get a smooth finish (I left the zest in though!). Transfer to a mason jar.
- Allow to cool to room temperature and then place in the fridge until fully chilled. Curd can be made a couple of days in advance.
Make the cardamom cookies:
- In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), cream butter, shortening, and sugars. Add oil and mix until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix again thoroughly.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and ground cardamom.
- Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix well until light and fluffy.
- Form the dough into a disc shape, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes, or until more firm. This will help when rolling out dough.
- While chilling, preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Once dough is chilled, turn out on a floured surface and roll out to about a 1/4" thickness. Cut out with desired cookie cutters.
- Bake cookies for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Assemble cookie sandwiches:
- Place cookies on a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, decorate half with melted chocolate, if desired. These will be the top cookies.
- Dollop a small amount of orange curd in the middle of an undecorated cookie. Press a decorated cookie on top. Continue to do the same for the rest of the cookies.
- Allow the cookies to chill in the refrigerator until the chocolate and curd is hardened. Then, store in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!