Cashews is a favorite of E’s, so of course, I had to make a cookie that highlights that cute, crescent-shaped nut. I was immediately drawn to this recipe because of its use of pungent ground cardamom, which I think is the perfect companion to the richness of roasted cashews. On a whim, I decided to add the finely grated zest of two clementines (which we can’t get enough of), and the result is absolutely divine. The cookie melts in the mouth, and the combination of flavors makes them just exotic enough so that they’re intriguing, but they’re still loved by everyone.
The recipe requires using salted cashews. If you use unsalted cashews, add 1 teaspoon [5 ml] kosher salt to the recipe. Also, if you don’t have clementines on hand, you can of course use the grated zest of an orange, or even a lemon, instead.
Cardamom Cashew Balls
Makes about 48 balls
2 cups [500 ml] salted roasted cashews
2 cups [500 ml] all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1 tsp [5 ml] ground cardamom
2 tsps [10 ml] clementine zest, very finely grated (from about 2 clementines)
1 cup [250 ml] unsalted butter (2 sticks), or dairy free buttery shortening, room temperature
1 cup [250 ml] powdered (confectioners’) sugar, divided
1 tsp [5 ml] pure vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350° F [175°C]. In a food processor, process the cashews until finely ground. In a large bowl, whisk together the ground cashews, flour, cardamom, and grated clementine zest. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and ⅓ cup [80 ml] of the powdered sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined (do not overmix).
Shape the dough into balls (about 1 tablespoon [15 ml] each) and place 2 inches [5 cm] apart on baking sheets. Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until just beginning to brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Place the remaining 2/3 cup [160 ml] of powdered sugar in a clean ziptop bag. A few at a time, roll the cookies in the sugar to coat. Store in an airtight container in the fridge up to one week, or freeze up to a month.
Recipe Credit: Adapted from Real Simple Magazine