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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Long Pepper and Cardamom Cookies

After doing some research on what to do with some Javanese long pepper and having already tried it in some risotto for a satisfyingly tingly sensation, the long pepper cookie idea was incepted into my brain and I haven't been able to shake the thought since first inhaling the sweet aroma of those little berries.
This recipe is completely my own, and I let the energy flow through me in a natural way for this outcome.  I have a basic butter cookie rule that allows me to freestyle.  It's approximately 1:1:2 ration of fat, sugar, and flour.  Fat can be butter and tahini for example.  Flour can be normal or ground almonds.  With that ratio and a feel of what I want my dough to be before baking, I am able to let the creative part take over the rest.. which contributes to my zen-therapy.
Yield 2 dozen cookies
110g (3.9 oz) softened butter
100g (3.5 oz) cane sugar
2 Tbsp molasses
6 cardamom pods
15-18 Javanese Long pepper berries
1 tsp ground cinnamon
90g buckwheat flour
100g whole wheat flour
Pinch salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1.  Dry roast the cardamom and Javanese long pepper until fragrant, then grind in a spice grinder.
2.  Cream the butter and sugar together, then add the molasses and mix until homogenous.
3.  Sift the flours, salt, baking soda, and ground spices together.
4.  Gently add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until it all comes together.
5.  Ditch the wooden spoon and use your hands to knead it into a nice ball.  Not too wet, but not too crumbly either.  It should stay in a ball if you shape it without fallong apart but should not come off onto your fingers after shaping.  I'm now realizing that it is not that easy to describe the consistence if something with words.
I now understand why grandmothers use "until it looks or feels right" in their recipes.
6.  Preheat your oven to 175°C 350°F.
Make tablespoon sized balls with the dough and press them down onto a cookie sheer.  Press some extra cane sugar on the tops of the cookies so that they'll have a bit of sparkle and glamor when they're done.
7.  Bake for 13-15 minutes or before the edges start to darken.  These will harden if cooked too long so be careful!
8.  Quickly transfer to a cooling rack.  And try to wait at least 20 minutes before digging in.

The result?
Intriguing.  The long pepper is slightly smoky and lingers in a similar way that cardamom lingers.  The pair go well together and the aroma wafting from this creation will hypnotize every being within you...
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