Friday, December 4, 2015

Fancy Cookies: Pistachio-Vanilla Bean

We eat more pistachios around the holidays. Something about pistachios with a side of red wine reminds me of Christmas festivities. So when I saw this recipe I thought it might make the perfect addition to the holiday cookie box (minus the wine).

These shortbread cookies are stuffed with pistachios, then dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with more pistachios. They come together fast and I like the ability to mix up a batch and store in the fridge for up to two days until I'm ready to bake.

The white chocolate is a nice foil to the salty, dry roasted nuts. If your tastes lean towards less sweet, more savory shortbread, you could omit it. Or swap it out for a dip in dark chocolate. These cookies freeze well. Just place in an airtight container and place in the freezer. Consume within three months.

Mix dough ingredients, form into a log and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Refrigerated dough is easier to slice. 

Slice logs into 1/4 inch slices. Place on baking sheet
and bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes.

Allow cookies to cool slightly on baking sheet. Remove to a rack to cool completely.

Melt chocolate and shortening. Dip half of cookie in
chocolate and sprinkle with additional nuts.

Sweet, salty, buttery deliciousness!

Pistachio-Vanilla Bean Cookies
from Better homes and Gardens
Makes about 50 cookies

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 vanilla bean
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped salted dry-roasted pistachio nuts
6 oz white chocolate, cut up
2 tsp shortening
1/4 cup finely chopped salted dry-roasted pistachio nuts

In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high for 30 seconds. Add sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Using the tip of a knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean halves into butter mixture. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Stir in 1 cup pistachios.

Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 1 1/2-inch-thick log (about 7 inches long). Wrap each log in waxed paper; twist the ends. Chill for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Cut chilled logs into 1/4-inch slices. Place slices about 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake about 8 minutes or just until firm and browned on the bottoms. Cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute. Transfer to wire racks; cool.

Combine white chocolate and shortening in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring often, until melted. Dip half of each cookie into melted chocolate mixture. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup reserved nuts. Place on a wire rack over waxed paper and let stand until set.

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