Cardamom Shortbread

These cookies are very rich, but they are easy to make and were a hit at our New Year’s Eve party. Enjoy!!!

Cardamom Shortbread Cookies

From: The Star Tribune cookie contest/Alecia Enger
Yield: about 3 dozen


For dough:

  • 1 c. (two sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • ½ c. light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 t. ground cardamom
  • ¼ t. salt
  • 1/3 c. chopped nuts

For icing:

  • 1 ½ T butter, melted
  • ½ t. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. powdered sugar, sifted
  • Milk as needed
  • Candied fruit, if desired for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugars until creamy.
  • Add egg yolk and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cardamom and salt. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture to butter mixture until thoroughly combined.
  • Spread dough into ungreased 9X13 pan (it will spread thinly). Brush egg white over dough and sprinkle with nuts. Bake for one hour.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To make icing:

  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat melted butter and vanilla into powdered sugar. Add milk, one t. at a time, until icing reaches drizzling consistency. Spread icing over slightly warm bars. Allow icing to set and cut into bars while cookies are still slightly warm. Decorate with candied fruit, if desired.

My notes: I made some changes to the presentation. Instead of chopped nuts, I used whole almonds and pressed them in rows, then cut about 45 bars so each one had a whole nut on top. I did not use candied fruit. I drizzled, rather than spread, the icing.

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