Pistachio Shortbread

Pistachio ShortbreadLast week I was chatting with a friend who told me that she still has batches of Christmas cookies stored in her freezer—it’s March! She finds the methodical steps of measuring and mixing to be quite therapeutic, and the holidays are when she goes overboard whipping up sweets. We both agree that the satisfaction of baking is even more when you share your creations with loved ones. Better to dole out the treats rather than keep them all to yourself.

I was in the mood for a more refined cookie than my usual chocolate chip. A bag full of bright green pistachios was the inspiration for these little shortbread rounds. After they had cooled, I got fancy dipping them in chocolate and coating them in more nuts. These bite-sized pistachio shortbreads were a delightfully buttery combination of salty and sweet. We polished them off in no time, and then I was already on to another dessert project.

Pistachio Shortbread
Adapted from Bon Appetit August 2007

Makes about 60 cookies

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1-1/4 cups unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter, 1/2 cup pistachios, egg yolk and vanilla extract. Process until a dough forms. Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide in half. Shape each piece of dough into a 1-1/4-inch diameter log about 8 inches long. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment.

Cut the logs into 1/4-inch-thick slices and place on the sheet pan 1 inch apart. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Cool the shortbread on the sheet pans.

Once the cookies have cooled completely, melt the chocolate in 30-second blasts in the microwave stirring to distribute the heat. Dip each cookie in chocolate and then dunk in the remaining pistachios. Place the cookies on the sheet pans to allow the chocolate to harden before serving.

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