Snow in summer plants are not in bloom yet, these photos were taken on a day two years ago when I could go out and pluck a flower from our back yard, and then compose a shot around it. I love flowers as props, but only when I can get them from our garden. Our first snow storm which amassed a whopping one inch of snow came a week ago, and in just a couple of hours withered the first blooms on my lovely Euphorbia plant, which blossomed for the first time after taking its time to grow up . My gardening pals assure me that it will spring back in a week or two, I hope it does, or else I am going to be very annoyed at the snow, don’t you dare come back this year, or may be you can, on Christmas day, that is fine with me. Thanks.
Perched snugly below these flowers are some lovely cardamom cookies, slathered generously with some white chocolate. What make these cookies burst with flavor is the powdered toasted cashew nuts in them, so if you decide to skip the decorating part altogether it will be quite alright. Just like you would do with any other rolled cookie, chill the dough for a good one hour before you start working with it.
Cardamom cashew cookies
Cashew nuts – 1 cup
All purpose flour – 2 cups
Salt – ½ tsp
Butter, unsalted – 1 cup (two sticks)
Sugar - 2/3 cup
Egg yolks – 2
Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp ( or seeds from 10 pods powdered)
White chocolate chips (optional) - for decoration 3/4 cup
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread cashew nuts on it. Roast the nuts at 350oC till the nuts are slightly browned (takes about 10 minutes, but keep an eye on it from after 5 minutes)Turn the oven off; take the sheet out, cool on kitchen counter. When the nuts are cool, grind to a fine powder adding ¼ cup sugar, keep aside.
Cream butter and the remaining sugar together till fluffy (about 5 minutes), add eggs and beat again for 2 more minutes. Add the ground nut mixture, cardamom powder and mix well for a minute. Now add the flour mixture and mix thoroughly to combine (for 1 minute). Devide the dough into two, cover with kitchen wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
Heat oven to 350 degree C. Roll the dough between parchment sheets to about 1/8th inch thickness and cut shapes out of it. If it gets difficult to lift the cut out shapes, return the dough to fridge, chill for 5 minutes and then take out the cutouts. Keep the cookies 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes or till the edges begin to brown. Cool the cookies on a wire rack, store in an air tight container for up to a week. Makes about 40 cookies.
Keep the white chocolate chips in a thick glass mixing bowl. Microwave till the chips look glossy but still hold the shape. Take the bowl out and with a fork, whisk thoroughly, till you a get a smooth mixture. Apply the molten chocolate on the cookie using a brush. Sprinkle with some crushed nuts or decorative sugar crystals if you like.