Speaking of orange-flower water, I take great exception to anyone who suggests orange extract or orange liqueur as a suitable substitute. Obviously these people are just making stuff up. Sure, you could substitute those other items, but you might as well be substituting cinnamon, or anise extract, or black pepper for that matter. Orange extract has a concentrated orange oil flavor; orange liqueur has a sweet, less-concentrated orange oil flavor. Orange-flower water tastes NOTHING like orange oil!! The best substitution to retain the flavor profile would be another flower water or flower extract. Another clue that this author didn't know what he was putting together was the quantity. I suspected that a measly 1/2 teaspoon wasn't going to have an effect. I even doubled it, and it is still undetectable. (I hate it when people just make stuff up.)
I should mention that I also greatly reduced the sugar, just for personal preference. After making these delicious Brazilian guava cookies that used only a tablespoon of sugar per cup of flour, I will seriously rethink sugar quantities from now on.
Here's what I used:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup semolina flour (pasta flour)
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom, divided
1 cup (2 sticks)
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon orange-flower water,
Whisk all-purpose flour, semolina flour, and 1 teaspoon cardamom in a large bowl; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, salt, and
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 tsp. cardamom in a small bowl. Slice dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. (If using a stamp, cut slightly thicker so that the cookies are about 1/4" thick after pressing.) Dip 1 side of each round in cardamom sugar and arrange, sugar side up, on 2 large baking sheets. Bake until golden brown and firm, 20-25 minutes. (The thinner cookies I made baked for only 13 minutes.) Carefully transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.
Conclusion: There are lots of delicious shortbread cookie recipes out there, and lots of delicious cardamom recipes as well. I recommended a pass on this one.
Recipe: Cardamom-Semolina Shortbread Cookies via Bon Appétit