Saturday, January 18, 2020

Dark chocolate pistachio shortbread cookies

Not gonna lie, 2020 has not been my year so far. I haven't been sick once in over 2 years and I've somehow managed to get sick twice in two weeks...uuuhhhggg. It makes me want to sit and reminisce of happier times when I could actually taste my food and breathe through my nose - enter these pistachio shortbread cookies! These were one of the new cookie recipes that I tried over the winter holiday and they've quickly become a favorite of mine. Not too sweet, with a touch of dark chocolate, these cookies are just as delicious as they look!

I think these cookies actually get better with age. When I was first experimenting with the recipe and tasted them right out of the oven, I thought they were a dud. It wasn't that they were bad - they just weren't great considering that for most cookies, it is in this moment where you experience the peak of tastiness. I thought these were BEST slightly underdone (about 10 min. in the over) and completely cooled. The chocolate, although subtle, is completely necessary as it provides the simple, nutty, shortbread with a touch of decadence. This is a perfect cookie to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee!

Dark chocolate pistachio shortbread cookies

Prep time: 3 hours (including pistachio soaking time and dough chill time) Cook time: 10-12 min.
makes about 2 dozen cookies

1 cup pistachios, shelled
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (can also just use extract)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped


1. Place the shelled pistachios in a small bowl and cover with water; set aside for 30 minutes. Drain the pistachios well and place them on a paper towel to air dry while you assemble the cookie dough.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add in the egg and then the vanilla and beat until combined. Lastly, add in the flour and pistachios and beat until combined. Your dough should be stiff.
3. Sprinkle 2 TBS over a clean work surface. Scrape the cookie dough onto the surface and gently knead it for 30 seconds. Divide the dough in half, then roll each portion of cookie dough into a log that's roughly 2" in diameter. Wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 5 days).
4. When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat. Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice the logs of cookie dough into 1/4" rounds. Place the cookies 1/2" apart on the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly golden.
5. Remove the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack. Cool for at least 15 minutes before removing.

For the chocolate...
1. Melt the chopped chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. If using the microwave method, place the chopped chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Melt in the microwave, on low power, in 15-second increments, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth.
2. Dip each cookie halfway into the chocolate then return to the lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt or additional chopped pistachios, if desired. Allow the chocolate to set before serving. To speed this up, place the baking sheet into the refrigerator. Once set, serve and enjoy! These are really good with coffee or tea.

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