Orange-cardamom-scented serinakaker

This classic Norwegian holiday cookie gets an unexpected crunch from pearl sugar. 

Serinakaker is a classic Norwegian holiday cookie topped with pearl sugar, which adds an unexpected crunch. This version incorporates my favorite flavor combination for this time of year: orange and cardamom. Like nutmeg, freshly ground cardamom is far superior to pre-ground cardamom, so keep a few pods in your pantry to grind up as needed.

Orange-Cardamom-Scented Serinakaker

Yields | 24 cookies |

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • ½ to ⅔ cup pearl sugar, for decorating

| Preparation | Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt until blended; set aside. Add butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer; beat on high until combined and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula. Add orange zest, egg and vanilla; beat on high until combined, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture, pulsing to incorporate; mix on low until dough is just combined and no dry patches remain, 45 seconds to 1 minute.

Scoop out 1 tablespoon dough and roll between palms to form a 1-inch ball; set on prepared baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining dough, spacing each ball 2 inches apart. Using a flat-bottomed drinking glass or measuring cup, flatten balls slightly. Brush each with egg white and decorate with sugar. Bake until tops of cookies have taken on slight color, 13 to 15 minutes. Remove and leave on baking sheet to cool, 10 minutes; transfer to wire rack to cool completely before serving.

Shannon Weber is the creator, author and photographer behind the award-winning blogaperiodictableblog.com, and her work has appeared on websites such as Bon Appétit, Serious Eats and America’s Test Kitchen.

More Cook articles.