Initially, my plan for today was to come up with a nice Christmas cookie recipe, as I did last year around this time, but I couldn’t come up with something nice and Christmassy that I actually felt like eating, too. I only knew I wanted to bake pistachio cookies, so in the end I just decided to ignore the obvious theme that’s been holding the blogosphere in its firm grip for the last month, and just bake pistachio cookies – plain and simple.
After buying the pistachios yesterday evening, I spent about an hour peeling them and trying to remove the skins (which I just learnt is much easier if you boil the nuts for a while). My fingertips are still hurting, and I’m regretting not buying the peeled pistachios, even if they were more expensive. I listened to the audiobook of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets while peeling though, so I did have some fun!
These cookies turned out really nice! They are crunchy and yummy and the pistachio flavour comes through beautifully. It’s very easy to make them, and I used the slice and bake method, which means rolling the dough in a cylinder shape, chilling it in the fridge and then simply slicing it into cookies. I only let the dough cool for about 15 minutes (because I was impatient), so my cookies didn’t turn out very neat or round. However, if you want neat, uniformly shaped cookies, I recommend chilling the dough for at least 3 or 4 hours.
Either way, they taste really good, so I recommend giving them a try!
You’ll need… (for approximately 25 cookies)
- 100 g plain flour
- 80 g unsalted butter
- 60 g light brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla flavouring
- 75 g (salted) pistachio nuts (finely chopped)
- cling film
- parchment paper
- baking tray
- and an oven, of course! These cookies need to be baked at 180 °C (don’t forget to preheat your oven!)
So, let’s get baking!
1. Mix butter and flour Take a bowl and mix together the butter and the flour with a (wooden) spoon. It doesn’t have to be completely mixed, since you’re going to knead it in a bit, so don’t worry about any (pretty much inevitable) lumps.
2. Add sugar, salt, egg yolk, vanilla and pistachios (otherwise known as: the rest) Add all of these ingredients and slightly mix them through before you start kneading the mixture into a nice dough. Knead everything together with your hands until it’s evenly combined, and start kneading it together in a smooth cylinder shape (this way you can simply slice the cookies as if slicing a cucumber).
3. Roll dough in cling film and chill it Roll the cylinder-shaped dough into a piece of cling film, and put it into the fridge so it can chill for at least half an hour (if you want the dought to be really firm, chill it for 3 or 4 hours).
4. Cut/slice cookies Take the dough out of the fridge and cut off “slices” of about half a centimeter. Place these onto your baking tray, leaving a bit of room between the cookies. They won’t spread much, so you can place them quite close together. My dough had not chilled for very long, so the cookies had more of an oval shape than a round shape.
5. Bake the cookies! Place the baking tray into your preheated oven and bake the cookies for 13 or 14 minutes. Take them out when they have turned golden brown, and let them cool for a while before taking them off the baking tray.
And there you have it! Enjoy your pistachio cookies!