Saffron Shortbread Sandwiches with Almond Cardamom filling (Eggless)

If you were to ask me about my favorite flavors of a mithai in cookie form, this is it! The eggless shortbread derives its beautiful color from saffron and the filling uses ground almonds with balmy green cardamom. They are moreish, buttery bites.

I make a point to add some kind of cookies to my diwali menu each year, in last years I have made nankhatai, cumin cookies and kaaju cookies. This is this year’s version and it hit all the right spots with us and the kids.

The shortbread dough is super easy to make and needs basic pantry ingredients- sugar, flour, butter etc. While the dough chills and bakes, you can make the filling.One hour is all it needs to make these and the guests are wowed.

You can use store bought good quality, almond meal, if you use almonds ground at home the filling might not be very white, but still as delicious.

A few things to keep in mind while making the shortbread.

  1. The butter has to be softened. Its a key to making a good shortbread. Leave the butter in a warm place for good amount of time to soften. Dont rush by microwaving it.
  2. Sift your flour and sugar. It makes a lot of difference in the texture of the shortbread.
  3. Chilling the dough (helps with texture of dough and flavors get time to mingle) and unbaked cookies.

Recipe (Makes 10-12 sandwiches)

For the shortbread

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • 1/2 tbsp warm milk

For the filling

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup + 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 tbsp fine ground almond powder
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Method

  1. Grind the saffron with a pinch of sugar using mortar pestle into a fine powder. Add warm milk and let infuse.
  2. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer. Cream them for 2 minutes until fluffy. Add the saffron and orange zest and mix well.
  3. Add the sifted flour to the butter mixture and blend well. Dump onto your work surface and knead well with your hands to mix well and make a soft dough.
  4. Wrap the dough in the cling film and chill for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Line two cookies sheets with parchment.
  6. Unwrap the dough and roll it into a 1/4 inch thickness using rolling pin on a lightly floured surface.
  7. Using a 2 inch biscuit or scalloped cookie cutter, cut the dough. Place the cookies on the parchment about an inch apart. Gather the scraps and repeat until all the dough is used up.
  8. Chili the cookies for 15-20 mins before baking.
  9. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake the cookies for 13-16 minutes until they are starting to slightly brown on the edges. Dont overbake.
  10. Pull out the sheets, let cookies cool on the sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Making the filling

While the dough and cookies chill, make the filling. Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix for 2-3 minutes until well combined. You can transfer to a piping bag to make it easier to fill the cookies.

Once the cookies are completely cooled, fill one cookie with about a tablespoon of filling and make a sandwich with the second cookie.

Store in an air tight container.

Enjoy!

4 thoughts on “Saffron Shortbread Sandwiches with Almond Cardamom filling (Eggless)

  1. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, poet, quilter. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. After many years of daily serving up of our local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, cooking classes, etc. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible people have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, but now turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. I write poetry as the spirit wills, and the occasional short story. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat meat or dairy (usually), I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been know to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me as well as the youngers in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to read. I enjoy taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary penpals! XXXOOO
    Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen on said:

    What a lovely cookie!

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