My Recipe Box

Cardamom-Honey Cutouts


Yields 6 dozen 2-1/2-inch round

  • To learn more, read:
    A Cookie for Every Occasion
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 89

These cookies are more than a mere canvas for decorating, with the honey's haunting sweetness and a subtle spiciness from the cardamom. 


 Watch our Virtual Cookie Exchange to see how food stylist and associate food editor, Samantha Seneviratne, uses a flooding technique to decorate these cut-outs.

  • 13-1/2 oz. (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for rolling
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For the best results, measure your flour by weight instead of volume. (1 cup of all-purpose flour equals 4-1/2 oz.) If you don’t have a scale, be sure to use the proper technique when filling your measuring cups.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cardamom, salt, and baking soda. Whisk until well blended.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended and slightly fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and the beater. Add the honey, egg, and vanilla. Continue mixing on medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until the dough is well blended and comes together in moist clumps, 30 to 60 seconds.

Divide the dough roughly in half. On a piece of plastic wrap, shape each dough half into a smooth 5-inch disk. Wrap well in the plastic. Refrigerate until chilled and firm enough to roll out, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Bake the cookies:
If you cut the cookies into larger or smaller shapes, you’ll need to adjust the baking time. Just be sure to bake until the edges turn light brown.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Line two or more cookie sheets with parchment or nonstick baking liners. Working with one disk at a time, roll the dough on a floured work surface to about 3/16 inch thick. Dust with additional flour as needed. Choose one or more cookie cutters of any shape that are about 2-1/2 inches wide and cut out shapes. Arrange the cookies about 1 inch apart on the lined cookie sheets. Gather the scraps and gently press together. Re-roll and cut. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Bake one sheet at a time until the cookies’ edges develop a 1/4-inchwide light-brown rim, 11 to 13 minutes (rotate the sheet halfway through baking for even browning). Let the cookies cool on the sheet for about 10 minutes and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Decorating Suggestion: Try decorating these cookies with Royal Icing.  Check out Abby Dodge's How to Decorate Cookies with Royal Icing for tips.

Make Ahead Tips

The plastic-wrapped dough may be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before proceeding with the recipe.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per cookie, Calories (kcal): 50, Fat (kcal): 2.5, Fat Calories (g): 25, Saturated Fat (g): 1.5, Protein (g): 1, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0.5, Carbohydrates (mg): 7, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 0, Sodium (g): 20, Cholesterol (g): 10, Fiber (g): 0,

Photo: Scott Phillips

This dough is great to work with. I have to admit I didn't have any cardamom but the cookies taste great anyway and keep well.

This recipe has become my go to, cut out decorating cookie, for all the Holidays. At Christmas I donate over 400 cookies for a charity cookie decoratint event. Easter explodes with bunnies and eggs for childrens baskets. Make ahead dough, bake out as needed. To top it off, its delicious!!

Yum! Really tasty cookie, rolls easy and makes a ton. I have made these several years in a row and they are always a nice addition to a cookie platter.

Everyone LOVED these, even my husband that typically doesn't even like cookies. I will never look for a white shortbread type cookie again. This is it! I toped it with melted semisweet chocolate with a dash of butter.

Of the five different types of cookies I made last winter, these were by far the favorites. I put extra cardamom in mine. Kids and adults gobbled them up and asked for more.

My life-long search for the perfect cut-out cookie is over! Totally agree that this dough is a breeze to work with, and makes baking with kids especially fun. The dough held up beautifully with even the most intricate cut-outs. Best of all is the flavor! The cardamom and honey are such a winning combination that I plan to use my other holiday cut-outs to make these for Valentine's Day and Easter.

The cardamom-honey combination makes for a delicious, lightly spiced cookie. The dough handles very easily without sticking to the rolling pin -- a joy to work with! I ended up with only 5 dozen, not the 6 and 1/2 dozen stated in the recipe even though I used 2 1/2-inch cookie cutters.

Amazing-- a cut-out cookie with flavor! This dough makes tender cookies with a delicate taste from the honey and cardamom, the perfect antidote to the usual bland cut-out cookies. Moreover, because the cookies are baked until lightly browned, they have a warm toasty honey spice flavor. The cookie bakes up tender yet crisp, with a wonderful texture. Although the dough will get sticky if it gets too warm, it is also much easier to handle than any other cut-out dough I've tried.

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