The green pod cardamom is a spice that India greatly appreciates, and one that some of us think we need more of in this part of the world (like this editor, for one). Its spiced flavor is one that makes not only holiday baked goods notable, but all sweets in general. When recipes are spiked with cardamom, they stand apart from the rest.
Just a little bit of cardamom will go a long way in making your recipes taste brighter. And, it's not just for baked goods. Ice cream benefits from this spice; jam is more exciting with a little cardamom; even candy bacon shines with a dash of it.