By Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook
These may be the easiest cookies you'll ever make. In fact, you might say they're downright rudimentary. But one of my favorite spices--cardamom--gives these little shortbread nuggets--called pebber nodder in Denmark--a huge lift.
I was looking for something quick and easy for our last baking class before the holiday break. These cookies certainly filled the bill, but they looked a little too plain when they came out of the oven, so we dressed them up with a sprinkling of confectioner's sugar. They would work great in a selection of holiday cookies. And they get the kids in our food appreciation classes fully involved--creaming butter and sugar, mixing the dough, rolling it out, then taking turning cutting the dough into these little pillow shapes.
Start by creaming 1 cup (2 sticks) room temperature butter with 1 cup granulated sugar. Beat until the mixture lightens in color, then add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating until the eggs are completely incorporated. We do this by hand in a mixing bowl using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, but of course you can also do it at home with an electric mixer.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ground cardamom.
Add the flour mix to the butter mix and gently blend until you have a smooth dough. Divide the dough into six balls--you might want to roll them in a little flour. Then, on a floured work surface, roll out one of the balls into a long, thin log--about the thickness of a cigar. Cut the log into 3/4-inch lengths and place these on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving some room around each nugget. Place in a 375-degree oven and bake 14 minutes, or until the pebber nodder are firm, the undersides lightly browned. Use an inverted spatula to move them to wire racks to cool.
Working through each ball of dough individually, we filled a total of three baking sheets. In other words, this recipe makes a lot of pebber nodder. As they cooled, we transferred them to a basket where we dusted them with powdered sugar as you see in the picture above.
They are quite delicious. I'll bet you can't eat just one!