Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Pistachios seem to be almost everyone's favorite nut. Maybe there's just something about that subtle green hue that makes people love them. They have a unique flavor that compliments anything sweet.
I remember when I was a kid, when we went out for ice cream, my parents would always order pistachio. At the time I couldn't understand why anyone would want to eat green ice cream. I thought there were so many other cool and delicious flavors to choose from, like pink bubble gum, rocky road, cookie dough, double chocolate and my personal favorite good ol' chocolate chip with jimmies of course. Sometimes I would get it with cowlick on it. In case you have never heard of it, cowlick is a chocolate and nut dip that would harden on the ice cream. I still love it!
But back to the pistachio, I really thought that only the old fogies liked it, along with maple walnut. Once I tried it, however, it was all too clear. That luscious salty and sweet combination of creamy goodness with little nut crunches really did it for me. Yuuuuummmm.
This recipe is based on one important ingredient: pistachio paste. It is very similar to almond paste. I had never used it before this recipe, but I saw it in the store one day and it sounded so delicious, I just had to try it. When I began making these cookies, in particular, creaming the pistachio paste, butter and sugar together, I was already drooling. I made the mistake of tasting the creamy mixture and I almost couldn't stop myself from eating the entire bowl. I would definately use this mixture as a frosting for a cake or brownies or cookies or cupcakes or toast or cardboard. Seriously, it is that good.
So for all you pistachio lovers out there, this recipe is for you...
by Love'nBake - 4 dozen small cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup Love'n Bake™ Pistachio Nut Paste
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
3 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup chopped, toasted, and salted pistachios
confectioner's sugar for rolling
Preheat oven to 325° and prepare parchment or foil lined cookie sheets. Cream the butter, pistachio paste, and sugar. Blend in the vanilla and milk. Mix in the flour and baking powder until the dough is smooth and stiff. Blend in the nuts. Pinch off small pieces of dough and roll into 1" balls. Place on cookie sheets and bake for 18-25 minutes, until a light golden brown. When cool, roll in confectioner's sugar. Store in an air-tight container for up to three weeks. To freshen, roll again in confectioner's sugar. Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.