Cardamom Strawberry Newtons
Makes: 32 1 1/2-inch cookies | Start to finish: about 1 hour, plus chilling time
This is one of those favorite childhood cookies. This recipe is a nod to the Fig Newton, but switches for the season by using strawberry jam. Cardamom is commonly used in baking and adds a delicate aromatic note. Black cardamom seeds are small and easy to grind with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder. Enjoy these delicately scented cookies with a nice cup of mint or ginger tea.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground black cardamom seeds
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg white
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup strawberry jam (not preserves)
Position the oven racks in the middle and lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ground cardamom and black pepper.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), cream together the butter and sugar for 2–3 minutes on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl and paddle. Mix in the egg white and vanilla extract. Scrape down the bowl and paddle again.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until the dough comes together. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece evenly into a rope 12 inches long.
Cut a piece of parchment paper, 12 inches by 16 inches. Working with one rope of dough at a time, lightly flour the parchment paper, and roll out the dough into a 4-inch-wide by 12-inch-long rectangle. The dough will be less than 1/8-inch thick. With a small spatula or spoon, spread 1/4 cup of the jam in a 2-inch-wide band lengthwise down the center of the rectangle. Using the long parchment paper to manipulate the dough, gently fold the dough over to cover half of the jam filling. Fold the other side of the dough over to overlap in the middle by about 1/4-inch. Pinch the seam closed where the two edges of dough meet. Pinch the ends of the log to seal.
Carefully lift the parchment paper with the dough and gently roll the entire cylinder off of the parchment to one of the lined baking sheets, making sure the seam is on the bottom. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing 2 filled dough cylinders on each baking sheet. Gently flatten the cylinders of dough with the palm of your hand.
Bake the cookies until the dough is set and golden, about 20–25 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets from top rack to bottom rack and from front to back halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. While still warm, using a serrated knife, trim the edges, and slice each cylinder into 1 1/2-inch length bars. Cool completely. The bars will keep, stored airtight, for 5 days. The bars also freeze well for 2 to 3 months.