If you're looking for a crisp-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside wintery cookie with a little extra something, look no further. Infusing the butter with black cardamom pods takes things to the next level, giving the cookies a hint of savoriness. If you can’t find black cardamom or would rather skip it, reduce the butter by 2 tbsp and add 1/4 tsp of ground cardamom instead. (Recipe adapted from: http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/chewy-ginger-molasses-cookies/) —Carey Nershi
Crack open the cardamom pods and remove seeds. Grind seeds with a mortar and pestle and set aside.
Combine the butter and empty cardamom pods in a small saucepan. Heat on medium-low until the butter has completely melted and begins to foam slightly. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove and discard the cardamom pods and transfer the butter to a large mixing bowl. Cover and let the butter cool to room temperature.
Sift together the flours, baking soda, salt, spices, black pepper, and reserved ground cardamom. Add the sugar to the butter and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses and the egg. Gradually beat in dry ingredients until just combined. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment. Fill a small bowl with 1/2 cup of sugar.
Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter, form into balls, and roll in the sugar. Place on a baking sheet two inches apart.
Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes (mine were done after 8). Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.