After more than eighteen years of marriage, I am still learning about my husband. I recently learned that he loves pistachios. I only found this out because he saw that I had a bag of pistachios. Why did I have a bag of pistachios? So glad you asked.
I was going to make some Christmas fudge. Mom made some white fudge with pistachios and cranberries a couple of Christmases ago. It was so pretty. It looked just like the magazine. Yes, I had ripped out the same recipe at some point in time. It was nowhere to be found, naturally. I figured I could wing it, call Mom, or do a search. So, I bought my pricey pistachios. Christmas came and went, and the fudge never got made. While packing away Christmas decorations I came across my lonely bag of pistachios. What the heck am I going to do with them now?! I’ve never even eaten a pistachio! Well, that little project got forgotten for a while.
I got to thinking again about actually starting this blog. As I perused my collection of cookbooks I naturally went to the sweets department. I am addicted to sweets. I know, I know, diabetes, heart disease, I’m trying ok?! Anyway…I came across Martha’s cookie cookbook. I’ve made a couple of things out of this one, and they were great. I really like this book because there is a picture for just about every recipe. (I am a very visual person.) Lo and behold, a recipe that includes pistachios!
for the filling:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 large egg yolks. lightly beaten
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
for the cookies:
4 ounces salted shelled pistachios (about 1 cup), ground to a past in a food processor
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg white
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of coarse salt
for the glaze:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
for the garnish:
Slivered unsalted shelled pistachios (optional)
2. Put egg yolks in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk by hand until yolks are warm to the touch, about 2 minutes. How do you like my handy dandy egg separator? I used to be a Pampered Chef lady. Love me some gadgets!
Fit mixer with the whisk attachment. Love my stand mixer. My sweet hubby got it for me for Christmas a couple of years ago.Mix yolks on medium speed; pour in sugar syrup. Raise speed to high; mix until mixture is cool and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium; drizzle in melted chocolate. Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes. Can you believe I actually found somewhere in my refrigerator to put the stuff?
3. Make cookies: Put pistachio paste and sugar in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth. Mix in the egg white, vanilla, and salt. The pistachios came unshelled, ugh. Had to do some recruiting. A 10 ounce bag gave us about 4 ounces of shelled pistachios.
Seems like it took forever to get to a pasty consistency.
4. Preheat oven to 350º F. Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a small (about 1/4 Inch) plain round tip (such as Ateco #10). Pipe 1-inch rounds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake cookies until firm and golden around edges, about 10 minutes. Transfer on parchment to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Pretty neat Martha-like tip for filling a pastry bag. Stuff it in a glass. Ok, Martha wouldn’t say it like that, but you have a picture to help you. What you don’t see in the piping picture is my face. That cookie dough did not want to come out of the little tip. I was really gritting my teeth. Finally, after 5 minutes of squeezing and only having two circles, I raised up, hit my head on the range hood, ouch, and declared I was not doing it Martha’s way. So, I cheated and used a cookie scoop. The recipe says it makes 15 cookies, so you will need to scoop, or pipe if you dare, 30 cookies.
5. Place cookies, bottom sides up, on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. This was easy. However, the cookies do want to stick to the parchment paper, so lift carefully. Aren’t they cute? They look like little turtles on their backs.
Spread 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons chocolate filling on bottom half of the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies. Freeze 1 hour. I don’t know if I didn’t leave the filling in the fridge long enough or what! This step was a mess! As you can see I had it all over myself.
6. Make glaze: Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add shortening; stir until combined. Let cool, stirring, until mixture is lukewarm. Martha would say to use a good quality chocolate. Well, Martha, this was the only bittersweet chocolate they had at the store. Ghirardelli is good quality though.
7. Using a chocolate fork or regular fork, hold one cookie at a time above bowl of chocolate glaze. Spoon glaze over cookie, letting excess drip back into bowl. Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Garnish with slivered pistachios. Refrigerate until set, 5 minutes. Cookies can be refrigerated in single layers in airtight containers up to 3 days. Aaaah, cascading chocolate!
All done! They may not look just like Martha’s, but they were good.
NOTE: The yolks in the filling are not fully cooked; it should not be prepared for pregnant women, babies, young children, the elderly, or anyone whose health is compromised. This note was in the cookbook. I figured I ought to include it.
Now I know you are wondering why today’s post is entitled “Never Again Cookies”. They were really tasty. The cookie part is very dense and sticky to work with. It took the whole day to make 15 cookies! I will admit it probably took a little longer than it might have otherwise because I was trying to photograph everything. Fortunately I had a photographer on hand. If you like the pictures, you are probably looking at the ones he took. I do ok. It is hard to take pictures of what you are doing while you are doing it. This is just my first attempt. Maybe I’ll grow a third arm before I try my next recipe. Boy that would be something to post about! Squirrel!
Chip: I’m a firm believer that nuts belong in cookies. Pecans belong in chocolate chip cookies, period. In fact, I’ve yet to meet the cookie that would not be made better by pecans (but I digress). In any event, I had pretty high hopes for a cookie that features a nut as it’s primary ingredient. These pistachio cookies did not disappoint. The flavor of a pistachio is enough to carry any cookie to greatness, but when it’s covered in chocolate… well… then the term “greatness” doesn’t begin to cover it. These cookies were exceptional. After each person in the family had an opportunity to try them I claimed the remainder for myself. If they do, in fact, end up being “never again” cookies, I don’t want to miss a single bite of these.
Two thumbs up.
Megan: The pistachio cookies are definitely different, but I love them.
Katie: The cookies are good, however, they could go without the pistachios. You see, now that I have tried them, I’m not a big fan of them. That’s all I have to say.