3 cups regular all-purpose flour (unsifted)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
2 T sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
1 package yeast, active dry or compressed
1/4 cup warm water (lukewarm for compressed yeast)
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
3 T salad oil
about 1/3 cup sugar
Sir together 3/4 cup dark brown sugar and 2 T each granulated sugar and cinnamon
In a large bowl combine flour, salt, cardamom, and the 2 tablespoons sugar. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into flour mixture until butter particles are about the size of peas.
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Blend in the milk, egg, and oil. With a fork stir liquid into flour mixture just until all the flour is moistened. Cover with clear plastic film and chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour.
Remove dough to a lightly floured board and knead 4 times only. Pat into a rectangle, then roll dough into an 11 by 18-inch rectangle with straight sides. Sprinkle cinnamon filling evenly over surface to within 1/4 inch of each edge. Starting with a lengthwise edge, roll up tightly as for a jellyroll. Pinch seam to seal. Wrap well in clear plastic film and chill to firm, about 1 hour.
Cut roll of dough in half and return half to refrigerator to keep chilled while shaping the first section. Cut dough roll in slices 1/2 inch thick. (It is important to keep the dough cold and to handle it as little as possible while rolling the cookies to preserve the flaky layers.) On a lightly floured board roll each slice into a thin circle about 5 inches in diameter. Spread sugar on a plate, and dredge each circle of dough in sugar to coat both sides; place the circles close together on a an ungreased cooky sheet.
Bake in a 350º oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Use a spatula to transfer cookies to a rack to cool and crisp. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Makes 3 dozen cookies.