Recipe: Hadgi Badah (Cardamom-Almond Cookies)

Photo: Michael Kahn

By Margi Lenga Kahn


  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. double-acting baking powder
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • Finely grated zest of half of a
  • medium orange
  • 2 cups blanched almond flour or meal
  • Orange blossom water or water, for
  • moistening hands 
  • About 48 whole blanched almonds 


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil two large baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cardamom, salt and baking powder. In a large bowl with a whisk or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat together the sugar, eggs and orange zest until light and creamy, about two to three minutes. Gradually add the flour mixture, (mixing on low speed if using a stand mixer) and then finally the ground almonds.
  3. Moisten your hands with orange blossom water or tap water and form dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls on prepared baking sheets, one inch apart, and flatten slightly. Press a whole almond into the center of each cookie.
  4. Bake cookies until lightly browned, 10-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for one minute and then transfer them with a spatula to a cooling rack to finish cooling. 
  5. These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or frozen for up to six months in a zip-lock freezer bag.
  6. Makes about 48 cookies.