Chocolate-Dipped Cardamom Cookies with Candied Grapefruit

Inspired by the German cookie Kardamom Plätzchen, we swap rum for rye whiskey, as the spiciness pairs well with the cardamom in these delicate cookies. For the melted chocolate, we recommend that you chop a chocolate bar instead of using chocolate chips—the former has a higher cocoa butter content which means smoother melting. Candied grapefruit peels add an extra flavor contrast as well as a pretty finish.

a recipe photo of the Chocolate Dipped Cardamon Cookies With Candied Grapefruit
Photo: William Dickey
Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 20 mins
Nutrition Profile:


  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 teaspoons rye whiskey

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 large red or pink grapefruit

  • 6 ¼ cups water, divided

  • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate


  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Beat butter, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until combined. Add rye; beat until combined.

  3. Whisk all-purpose flour, pastry flour, cardamom, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined. Shape the dough into a log about 1¾ inches wide and 12 inches long. Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

  4. Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, cut peel off grapefruit, leaving some of the white pith still attached. (Reserve the grapefruit flesh for another use, such as fruit salad.) Place the peels in a small saucepan and add 2 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Drain the water from the pan. Repeat two more times.

  5. Add 1/2 cup sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup water to the drained peels and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the peels are deep pink or orange and slightly translucent, about 20 minutes. Remove the peels from the pan with a slotted spoon, allowing the excess liquid to drip off; transfer to a wire rack to dry, about 1 hour.

  6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F.

  7. Slice the cookie dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and place the rounds 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Use a fork to press a crosshatch pattern into the tops of the cookies. Bake until the edges are lightly golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes.

  8. Cut the candied peels into thin strips or dice. Toss with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Remove the peels from the sugar.

  9. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe medium bowl. Microwave on Medium for 1 minute. Stir, then continue microwaving on Medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted.

  10. Dip half of each cookie in the melted chocolate and return to the wire rack. Top the chocolate-dipped part of each cookie with some of the candied grapefruit peel. Let the chocolate set, about 1 hour.

To make ahead

Store candied grapefruit airtight at room temperature for up to 6 months. Store the decorated cookies airtight between layers of parchment paper for up to 2 weeks.


Parchment paper

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

98 Calories
5g Fat
12g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 40
Serving Size 1 cookie
Calories 98
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 6g
Added Sugars 5g 10%
Protein 1g 2%
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Vitamin A 109IU 2%
Vitamin C 1mg 1%
Folate 9mcg 2%
Vitamin K 1mcg 1%
Sodium 25mg 1%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 1mg 6%
Magnesium 12mg 3%
Potassium 47mg 1%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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