The ever sunny, always giving, Randy-Skippy-Arjuna (RSA) Spicocchi brought these over for dessert recently. We had what we call our “India Dinner,” an evening we host one month before departing for India where we teach at the International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh. We prepare a multi-course Indian meal together with our fellow travellers (photos here), so they can meet each other and learn about the adventure ahead. These divine little treats, laced as they are with India’s own peppery and exotic Cardamom, were the perfect sweet complement.
You may have noticed I don’t write often of sweets or treats. There are two reasons for that. The first is personal: I am Kapha enough that dessert, bread, pasta and the like, had to be struck from the plate long ago. The second reason is well explained here.
On the other hand, every now and then we are asked to provide a dessert, or want to show our love with a treat. Some people find the stresses of the day melt away a little more easily with a morsel of something warm, soft and sweet, and, with chronic stress being arguably more dangerous to your well-being, melt away I say. Plus, some of you have asked for more baking… and, they are gorgeous, aren’t they?
I had an Acupunturist once tell me that when it comes to diet, it is important to break the rules now and then. His theory was that the digestive system needs to be challenged occasionally, and he pointed to Fergus the Forager as proof. Given that I had a bad “frites” habit at the time, I was happy to adopt that professional justification.
I could justify it Ayurvedically, too. After all, digestion is a fire. The dosha, or bio-energy, of fire is Pitta. Pitta is muscular, competitive, success-oriented. It loves a good challenge. Pitta naturally distinguishes between good and bad, right and wrong, healthy or not. Discernment is a positive quality of Pitta. Whether it is your vision, your mind, or your digestion, if you have positive Pitta, it discerns.
I wonder then, dear reader, professor of all things healthy, connoisseur of true food and enduring nourishment, if we could say that the small intestine ~ that most Pitta of organs, responsible for the second stage of digestion, the stage where the essential is separated from the non-essential ~ actually needs a break from perfection once in a while to test its clarity, strength and power, and keep it in good working order?
What if, too, that is the principle behind all metabolism, including your mental and emotional metabolism, the heart and soul’s capacity to digest information, experience, life itself? Could cultivating your inner fires of passion, devotion, discipline, clarity, discernment really help you release the non-essential, preserve the essence, heal and grow in wisdom and compassion? I offer my husband as a thought-experiment.
How’s that for justification?
In truth, this cookie is pretty healthy. We use a GF flour, coconut palm sugar which has a low glycemic index, good-for-you ghee instead of butter, Himalayan salt with 88 trace minerals, and, of course, Cardamom which is a Pitta support, helping metabolize sugar, and reducing those levels in the blood where it can be so dangerous.
So when cookie cravings arise, try these. My husband saw them and pronounced them the prettiest cookies ever. After tasting one, two, and then three, he also declared them to be the very best cookies ever. From my very own world expert on cookies, that felt good to hear.
One more plus ~ I made them in less than ten minutes (plus cooking time)!
Recipe adapted from Randy Spicocchi
Organic GF Flour, 2 1/4 cups
Baking Soda, 1 teaspoon
Pink (Himalayan) Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Ghee, 1/2 cup room temperature
Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, 1 1/2 cups
Ground Cardamom, 3 teaspoons
Organic, Free-range Eggs, 2
Vanilla Extract, 2 teaspoons
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, cream together ghee and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in cardamom, eggs and vanilla extract until well combined. With the mixer on low speed, gradually incorporate the flour mixture until the dough comes together and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Randy likes to sprinkle a combination of cardamom and the palm sugar over the top “for added sweetness.” I like it for the dusting of contrasting color.
Bake for about 10 minutes, until cookies are set and very light golden around the edges. Allow to cool for 3-4 minutes on baking sheets, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 2 dozen.
Cardamom is mother nature’s answer to our occasional need for a sweet splurge. Isn’t she amazing to always anticipate our needs? Next time you need a little extra comfort, I hope you will enjoy these Cardamom Cookies and savor Mother’s Love.
What warms your heart when life’s seasons turn cold?
P.S. Have you seen my new website, with information about my upcoming Winter Cleanse?
Thank you & Namaste!
Hi Laura, Before I make the recipe, there seem to be one ingredient missing: the shortening. Please correct me if am wrong, can’t wait to bake my first cookies ever. Nathalie
Your first cookies ever! Nathalie, ghee is clarified butter. I have a video here showing you how to make it, http://food-alovestory.com/2012/03/25/how-to-make-ghee/
It is a process that turns butter into something healthy, healing and divine. I hope you enjoy these. Please let us know!
These look like such a lovely and loving treat…I shall make them right now! Nothing like sweet cardamom to hit the sweet spot…
I would also argue that what Pitta needs the most is to relax the rules, to bend them all the way and find enjoyment without judgement…good for you…bad for you….it won’t matter in the end…but what might matter is your relaxed, in the present state of mind while you ate this or that….This, coming from a very Kapha, sweet loving, averse to strict rules person:)
Ha! Wonderful. I so appreciate that. Thank you ~
Tiziana, You Are A Gem! This is one of the many reasons we all need, and need to value, our beloved Kaphas!
Yum! Putting these puppies on my recipe list! I’m quite jealous that you’re going to teach in India…that sounds amazing!
Please join us, Britt. It’s Cardamom Heaven!
Yummy! I think I have to try this recipe. Hugs, Mom
You are the best Mom in the world! I’ll make them and send them to you with all my love. Some for Nana, too!
I will be making these, a vegan version. Love cardamom and this story. XOXO
Stephanie, Please let us know how it goes and what you do. I am curious to try a Vegan version myself. Thank you!
Just finished reading this and checking out your website. I loved this post – I look forward to making these cookies! Is there a vegan option that you have ever attempted – I would love to make them for guests this Friday night but they don’t eat eggs. Trying to figure out a menu with all that I have been learning – many things on your blog to choose from. I might go with the “Christmas Salad” I often make that with greens pomegranate and pear minus the cheese. And the yams with the cinnamon and walnuts you posted sounds divine. Just need a soup to round it out…maybe the lentil or the soup for Sophia? If you have any suggestions I would love to hear! Also i tried the link for the winter cleanse but it did not work – Is that already over? Thank so much, I love your blog and realize I need to compliment all the great stuff not just offer my 2 cents when its paleo!! lol! Have a restful night! xo
You are sweet, Robyn. I’ve really appreciated your 2 cents! Yes, the Winter Cleanse is over now. Our annual Spring Cleanse begins March 24th which is not too far out now. Thanks ~
I just made the cardamom cookies – they are delicious!! GF chocolate cake next. I am also making a potato leek soup which I know should be great in this Vata time of year – we ar on the east coast. Any recipe sugesstions for that, please let me know! I thought I would simple add fennel and a bit of coconut milk. Thank you so much Laura. xo
I love potato leek soup. With fennel, even better! Hope it keeps you warm.
This is a great cookie! The cardamom is apparent but not overpowering, which can sometimes be a problem with cardamom. I did not use coconut sugar, but instead a combination of brown rice syrup and raw muscovado. So I wanted to warn anyone doing something similar that you’ll need to play around with the amount of flour (decreasing to 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups). From my understanding coconut sugar is super absorbent, thus the need for more flour in the original recipe. Thanks Laura!
Thank you, Katie. Appreciate your suggestions and substitutions. Chuss!