Cardamom Grapefruit Cookies

Happy Galentine’s & Valentine’s Days to all! # 113: Cardamom Grapefruit Cookies

I discovered the joy of beetroot powder just in time for the pinkest of holidays! It’s all thanks to another Weezie Mott cooking class. John Thiel (owner of Pappo restaurant in Alameda) was hosting the class this month and it was a combination of delicious Moroccan recipes. He discussed all the spices he was using and let us in on his secret: Oaktown Spice Shop!

Ok, so it’s not actually a secret. Tons of people know about this amazing shop (as they should!) It’s down by Lake Merritt, and you get swept up by enticing aromas as soon as you open the door. You pick up a little woven basket by the door and are set free to explore their neatly organized displays of goodness. I felt like a little kid at the start of an Easter egg hunt, about to collect as many treasures as possible!

I filled up my little basket with cumin, ras el hanout, cardamom, and dried minced ginger root and orange peel for loose leaf tea. Then I saw the beetroot powder. It’s shockingly pink and surprisingly doesn’t have a strong flavor or smell. They had it out in front in a Valentine’s themed display with a little note explaining how well it works for dyeing baked goods. I didn’t think twice before adding a bag of it to my basket. Apparently spice shops are dangerous for me – too many good things to buy on a whim!

I surprisingly don’t have any heart-shaped cookie cutters. Luckily, I have access to friends’ cookie cutter collections which are better stocked than mine. I ended up only using the two smallest hearts for these cookies so there would be more to go around!

The magic ingredient in these cookies is butter, forever and always. Whipped to a fluffy frenzy.

I’m making the case that these cookies are healthy too. Beetroot powder is packed with antioxidants, calcium, iron, potassium, and other good stuff. Win-win!

The flour is hiding all that fun color. Wait for it… wait for it…

BAM! It’s the burgundy-pink that dreams are made of.

I always play a tetris game of how many oddly-shaped cookies can I get out this oblong sheet of dough?

But will they hold their shape?? It’s the question that always passes through my mind when I place shaped cookies in the oven. These were sufficiently chilled, but still.

Hooray! Still recognizable. At this point, I wanted to decorate them but wasn’t sure which way to go. As I was reaching for my white chocolate chips, my roommate suggested making a grapefruit juice glaze instead to compliment the grapefruit zest in the dough. Good ideas should never be wasted, so the white chocolate will live to see another recipe.

It’s almost the same color as the cookies! But slightly more orange.

Super loose recipe for the glaze:

  • the juice of half a grapefruit
  • around 2 cups of powdered sugar (give or take a bit to make it your preferred consistency)

Right side: too little powdered sugar. Left side: just right!

Dunking cookies is a game of patience. I had to wait until the excess dripped off before letting it dry on a rack. I also made sure to pop the air bubbles right after laying them out to dry so they could fill in before the glaze set.

Happy munching!

Recipe: Sweet Ambs orange vanilla spice cookie recipe (with the orange swapped out for grapefruit.)

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