Cardamom Snaps for Holiday Baking


Each year in December, I’m part of a group of women who bake cookies for local Hospice patients and their families to brighten their holidays. Because my family has been touched by cancer too many times, and several of my friends and coworkers have dealt with the disease personally, baking for cancer patients is a special tradition for me. In fact, it’s about the only time I bake, except for when I attempt Chocolate Cake for Bill, because I’m really not much of a baker at all.

Since I like the challenge of making things Bill can eat, and I know many people have some of the same food allergies he has (wheat, dairy, and corn), it makes sense to find a recipe that this group of food allergy sufferers can enjoy.

I found this one for Cardamom Snaps from Better Homes and Gardens. I think it originally caught my eye because of the creative suggestion for packaging the cookies as gifts.

But I had to alter it to make it work for Bill. The substitutions are shown below.

There are a few reasons I like this recipe:

  1. It’s easy.
  2. It’s different than plain old ginger snaps.
  3. It has cardamom in it–one of my favorite spices.
  4. It was easy to adapt for food allergies.

Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free, Corn-Free Cardamom Snaps
3/4 cup shortening (I use Spectrum Naturals palm oil vegetable shortening instead of hydrogenated shortening.)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup mild-flavored molasses
1 egg
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour (Gluten-free: Substitute 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour plus 3/4 cup oat flour.)
1/4 cup granulated sugar

In a mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar, baking soda, 1-1/2 teaspoons of the cardamom, and the cinnamon.

Beat on medium to high speed until combined. Beat in molasses and egg. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in mixture of granulated sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cardamom to coat. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in 375 degree F oven about 10-12 minutes or until edges are set and tops are slightly cracked. Cool on wire rack. Makes about 48 cookies.

Note: If you use gluten-free flour, the cookies spread out further and thinner than shown in the picture from the magazine. Also, when I make them I end up with about 40 cookies, not 48.

For gifts: Package 6 cookies in a small glass tumbler; seal with waxed paper; tie with string.

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