Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

For cookies
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ cups flour
½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg

For icing
4 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup milk
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups powdered sugar

To prepare cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon and flour, and reserve.

In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and beat until thoroughly combined.

Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Roll dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Carefully press dough with flat bottom of a drinking glass and bake until lightly browned, 14 to 16 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 2 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare icing: In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add milk, cardamom and cinnamon, and beat well. Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar to reach desired consistency. Spread icing on cooled cookies.

2008 Finalist: Matt Boisen of Owatonna, Minnesota