Cardamom Shortbreads


  • 8cardamom pods
  • 200 gbutter
  • 25 gground rice
  • 240 gplain flour
  • 70 gicing sugar
  • 1beaten egg
  • demerara sugar, for rolling
  • vanilla sugar for dusting


1_ Lightly crush the cardamom pods to release the seeds, discard the shells and put the seeds into a mortar. Crush finely with the pestle.

2_ Place the butter, ground rice, flour and icing sugar in a food processor and mix until you have a dough.

3_ Turn the dough out onto the work surface and push with your hands into a roll, about 3-4 cm in diameter. Wrap in plastic film and place in the fridge for an hour. Chilling is an important stage, don't rush it, otherwise the shortbreads will spread too much when they're cooking.

4_ Take the roll out of the fridge and remove the film. Brush with beaten egg and roll in demerara sugar. Place back in the fridge for another 30 minutes.

5_ Preheat the oven to 150°C/Gas 2. Take the roll out of the fridge and cut into thin slices, about 5mm thick, and place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. You could cut the roll in two and store the other half in the fridge for baking another day. I used half the roll and it made 13 biscuits.

6_ Sprinkle a little vanilla sugar over the top of the biscuits and bake for around 15 minutes on a low shelf. I think the secret of getting these shortbreads crisp is to make sure you don't cook them too quickly, and that they bake to a pale golden colour.

7_ Cool on a wire rack and don't store in a jar or a tin until they are completely cold.