Cardamom adds festive boost to holiday cookies

The classic combination of chocolate and macadamia nuts gets a holiday overhaul with the addition of cardamom, one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated of the holiday spices.

And if baking up a batch of these cookies gets you hooked on cardamom, try it in applesauce, cranberry sauce and rice pudding, too.

This cookie recipe also is incredibly versatile. Mix in any other nuts — or even chopped dried fruit — that appeal to you.

Dried apricots and white chocolate chips would be great, as would cranberries and pistachios or raisins, walnuts and milk chocolate chips.

Cardamom chocolate macadamia cookies

1/2cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2cup vegetable or canola oil

11/2cups packed brown sugar

1/2teaspoon baking soda

1/2teaspoon salt

1/2teaspoon ground cardamom

2eggs

2 3/4cups all-purpose flour

110-ounce package mini chocolate chips

2cups chopped toasted macadamia nuts

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, oil, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and cardamom. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between additions.

Stir in the flour, then the chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. Scoop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between the cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until light golden brown around the edges.

Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Makes 40 cookies. Per cookie: 190 calories; 110 calories from fat (58 percent of total calories); 13 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 15 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 12 g sugar; 2 g protein; 45 mg sodium.

This is the second recipe in our 12 Days of Christmas Cookies. See also:

Tips for cookie baking success

Lemon paprika bars

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