This Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies with Cardamom Orange Caramel recipe deserves a spot on your cookie tray this holiday season. It’s melt in your mouth buttery and spiked with aromatic cardamom and orange caramel sauce.
Wow – how did we already get to the last VV recipe of the year? It feels just like yesterday I was whipping up this Creamy White Chili and fretting about the political future of our country. So much good has happened this year for me – I released my first cookbook, we bought our first home – but I won’t go into too much detail yet as I usually do a yearly wrap up that is still to come. For now, I need to focus on the fact that Christmas eve is ONE WEEK AWAY! I haven’t even started shopping yet. Yikes!
Have you ever had those Danish shortbread cookies that come in all sort of different shapes in the blue tin? My brother and I always received a tin for Christmas growing up and I remember so vividly fighting over who would get the sugar coated pretzel shaped one because that was our favorite. It makes me smile now because they were all the same cookie but just different shapes but I was so positive as a kid that I didn’t like the round ones, only the pretzel and square ones. Anyway, I bring this up because these taste exactly like those cookies. Well, exactly like those cookies + more because of the citrus-y caramel sauce.
Speaking of this caramel sauce, it’s good. Like lick the spoon and be-careful-you-don’t-eat-it-all-before-you-put-it-on-the-cookies delicious. The cardamom is subtle but compliments the bright citrus and sweet caramel flavors perfectly. It reminds me a bit of nutmeg in the way that most non-bakers might not be able to put their finger on what it is they are tasting but they just know they like it.
Anyhow, hope you have a wonderful holiday season and I’ll probably check in one more time before the end of the with my annual yearly wrap up. Until then, catch me on Instagram because I’m obsessed and post over there daily.
This Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies with Cardamom Orange Caramel recipe deserves a spot on your cookie tray this holiday season. It's melt in your mouth buttery and spiked with aromatic cardamom and orange caramel sauce.
- 1 cup unsalted butter cold and diced into pieces
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup coarse sugar
- 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tsp orange extract
- coarse sea salt for finishing (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and 2/3 cup sugar. With the stand mixer running on low, add in the vanilla extract and salt. Next, add in the flour slowly and mix until the mixture comes together to one big dough ball.
Place coarse sugar in a shallow dish and set aside.
Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough and use clean hands to shape 1-inch balls. Roll the ball in the coarse sugar until completely coated and transfer the dough balls to the prepared baking sheet, 2 inches apart.
Use a wine cork or your clean thumb to press a small indentation into each dough ball. Transfer to the freeze and let chill for at least 10 minutes (this will make sure the cookies don't spread too much while baking).
Bake for 14 - 18 minutes or until browned on the bottom. Remove from oven and use the cork to press down on the indent again if it puffed up while baking. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
While the cookies are baking, combine the brown sugar, cardamom, and unsalted butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to boil. Once boiling, continue to cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the cream and orange extract. Set aside.
Pour the caramel sauce into the indents of the cookie and sprinkle with a tiny bit of coarse sea salt.