With a name like “Brown Sugar Cardamom Snickerdoodles”, you might think I was creative in the kitchen.
The joke’s on you because, I just worked with what I left in my pantry while I was still in Toronto.
Without any chocolate in the house, I had to turn to non-chocolate dessert options for our going-away party. I knew I was going to make baklava, since I had planned to make it a few months ago and had all the ingredients (mostly). Plus it would be a treat for my parents who came up to help us pack and move.
But I wanted to make something else, too. I perused Isa’s blog for inspiration: Chai Spiced Snickerdoodles. However, I had no white sugar and not all of the chai spices…. but I still had brown sugar. I was not entirely sure whether it would work, so I googled brown sugar snickerdoodles. I came across Joe Yonan’s Cardamom-Brown Sugar Snickerdoodles. Brown sugar would work, it seemed. And my lack of spices would not be a deterrent, either: I had cardamom. However, Joe’s recipe was not vegan so I tweaked Isa’s recipe with my pantry subs.
And of course, while baking seems so simple, I definitely prefer the ease of raw desserts. As I made this, I was scratching my head wondering what to do with the clumpy brown sugar that was not dissolving. Heating it was a possibility but I wasn’t sure that would still work since I had already added it to the liquids. I consulted the Mom guru midway during my baking escapades. If the sugar had not been added yet, she suggested microwaving the brown sugar. Since I had already added the liquids, she had another fantastic idea: pulverize it with a blender. Since I already dirtied my vitamix to make homemade cashew milk for the cookies, it was easy to blend away the clumps, too. Worked like a charm.
Some of the comments from Isa’s recipe implied the dough could be very sticky to work with. Mine was not sticky in the slightest. Easy to work with, flatten as balls and roll in a cardamom-spiked brown sugar coating. I used large crystal Demerara-style brown sugar for the coating and saved the clumpy brown sugar for the cookie.
And the verdict? You will have to rely on Rob’s judgment. My Mom does not hold too much faith in Rob’s opinions of my food (is he really biased?) but trust me, there are plenty of things he does not like and he will tell me so. Around the same time, Rob was gifted with local maracons. However, they were very fragile and slightly smooshed during transport. After he tried a snickerdoodle fresh from the oven, he told me it was better than the macarons! They were smooshed macarons, but still, they were macarons, nonetheless. These cookies were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside with a sweet caramel flavour thanks to the brown sugar with a hint of exotic cardamom.
And if Rob’s opinion is not enough, let’s just say the cookies were demolished within minutes at the party. Granted, I served them before the pizza had arrived… and no one had issues with cookies as an appetizer.
Creativity out of necessity. I like it. And so did Rob. :)
Brown Sugar Cardamom Snickerdoodles
Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen
1/4 cup Demerara brown sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tbsp non-dairy milk (I used homemade cashew milk)
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups spelt flour (or all-purpose flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cardamom
1. In a small bowl, combine the Demerara brown sugar with 1 tsp cardamom and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350F.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine canola oil, brown sugar, maple syrup, non-dairy milk, vanilla and salt. Mix until sugar is dissolved. If you have troubles with clumpy sugar, blend it with a blender (my Vitamix was great).
4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and 1 tsp cardamom. Stir into wet mixture and stir to combine. Roll dough into 1-2 tbsp sized balls, flatten to become 2″ discs and roll in the cardamom-brown sugar mixture. Place onto 2 silpat-lined cookie sheets, placed 2″ apart. If you have time, chill cookies for 30 minutes in the fridge (or 15 minutes in the freezer). Bake cookies at 350F for 10-12 minutes until slightly brown. Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Makes 24 cookies.