Maybe it's my Swedish blood (ja!), but I have a serious, passionate, and loving relationship with cardamom (shown above in pod form). If you haven't tried it before, I seriously encourage you to go out and get a jar. It can be a bit pricey, but I promise you, once you catch a whiff of it's peppery, exotic, sweet aroma, you'll be hooked. And even more so when you actually taste it. It is by far one of the most under-utilized spices, which totally boggles my mind. It's not only used in Scandinavian cooking but African and Indian cuisines as well. From curries to chai tea, cardamom plays a shining lead roll. I've even been sprinkling it in my coffee this winter for an unexpected kick (or just an attempt at masking my inability to make a perfect cup o' joe. wtf.) and added incentive to wake my ass up. In fact, I'm having a staring contest with a bottle of it at my desk right now. Try using it in place of cinnamon the next time a recipe calls for it. I really think you'll be into the results.
Or try these! We make these at Christmas every year and let's just say they never last long. And when I say they don't last long, I mean 50% of the batter doesn't even make it into the oven. No big deal.
*Double the cardamom and omit the icing. They're much better plain!