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Published April 12th, 2023
Cardamom: the secret spice that makes these cookies come alive
Daughter Courtney sneaks a Cardamom & Currant Oatmeal Cookie. Photo Susie Iventosch

I am a huge fan of oatmeal cookies and these are my absolute favorite! They are full of currants, nuts, and yummy spices - cinnamon, allspice, and cardamom - the best spice on the planet. Cardamom is the secret ingredient that makes these cookies come alive. If you're not familiar with it, it's a spice that comes from the seed pods of various plants in the ginger family, but it tastes nothing at all like ginger. It has a distinctly lovely scent and it adds such a wonderful taste to sweet and savory dishes alike. It's a bit pricey, but it also lasts a long time and you can use it in other baked goodies and curry dishes, too. It's a key component to a lot of Swedish baked goods.
These oatmeal cookies are soft and stay that way even days after baking them. It's funny because I usually like crispy, crunchy cookies, but for me, oatmeal cookies have to be soft. The trick to keeping them soft is reconstituting the currants (or raisins if you prefer them) in boiling water before adding them to the cookie dough. This keeps the cookies soft for days and it keeps the currants or raisins from drying out while baking. You are gonna love these gems!
We usually make the cookies to order at our house, meaning we refrigerate the dough and bake a batch at a time. If you like to bake the entire batch at once, these cookies freeze very well, but if you have a flock of people around, they won't last long anyway. Enjoy!
2 cubes butter (1 cup or 8 oz.) at room temp
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cardamom
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 cups old fashioned oats (can use quick oats, too)
1 cup currants (or raisins or a combination)
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans coarsely chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a cookie sheet with cooking spray or parchment paper.
Place currants (or raisins) in a small bowl and pour about 1 cup boiling water over them. Allow them to sit and soak for about 15 minutes. This plumps them up and allows them to stay moist while baking. After 15 minutes, wring out the excess water by squeezing them in cheesecloth or through a strainer. Discard the liquid and set the currants aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy with an electric mixer. Add vanilla and eggs and beat until thoroughly blended.
Sift dries (flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice) and add to butter mixture. Mix well. Add raisins, nuts, and oatmeal.
Drop by large spoonful or cookie scoop onto a greased baking sheet. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a baking rack. Store in an airtight container.

Susie can be reached at suziventosch@gmail.com. This recipe can be found on our website: www.lamorindaweekly.com. If you would like to share your favorite recipe with Susie please contact her by email or call our office at (925) 377-0977. Or visit https://treksandbites.com

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