Recently, I've been in a cookie slump. It started with an attempt to bake some gluten-free cookies that were a crumbly (and odd-tasting) mess. Next was the homemade Thin Mints during Girl Scout cookie season. They weren't bad, but they weren't great and they didn't hold a candle to the real thing.
But yesterday, I perused the newest issue of Bon Appétit and the recipe for Pistachio Shortbread caught my eye. I've been looking at pistachio ice cream recipes (does anyone have a favorite?) but they all want you to use pistachio paste and while I know I can make it myself, that extra step is really dissuading me from moving forward.
If you, like me, need a pistachio fix, look no further than these cookies. A few pulses in your food processor, an hour in the refrigerator to chill, and 15 minutes in the oven and you'll have a delicious cookie. These have a strong pistachio flavor, aren't too sweet, and are quite pretty with the flecks of green pistachio throughout.
Bon Appétit May 2013
1 cup unsalted, shelled raw pistachios (about 4 1/2 ounces) (be sure the pistachios are unsalted - I buy mine in the bulk section of Whole Foods or Sprouts or online at nuts.com)
1 1/4 cupsall-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Pulse pistachios in a food processor until finely ground but not a paste, about 30 seconds. Add flour, sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla; pulse until mixture is the consistency of cornmeal. With machine running, drizzle in 2 tablespoons ice water (a crumbly dough should form; do not over-process). My dough appeared to still be too dry so I added another 1/2 tablespoon and it was fine -- before you add more water, try to get the dough to clump together because it is probably moister than you think.
2. Transfer dough to a sheet of parchment paper and pat into a rectangle. Top with another sheet of parchment and roll out to a 12x8-inch rectangle (the neater the edges of your rectangle, the less likely you are to end up with funky-shaped edge cookies like I did - see photo above). Transfer dough (in parchment paper) to a baking sheet and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
3. Place rack in middle of the oven; preheat to 350°. Remove top sheet of parchment paper from dough and discard. Cut dough lengthwise into 8 equal strips, then each strip crosswise into quarters, forming 32 rectangles (I think I probably ended up with about 40 cookies because of my mishapen rectangle). Place rectangles on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1-inch apart. Note that the cookies almost double in size during baking. I ended up baking the cookies in two batches, two trays at a time because I made smaller cookies and spread them out.
4. Bake shortbread until golden brown, rotating sheets halfway through, 14-18 minutes (the original recipe said 18-20 minutes, but I checked my first batch at 15 minutes and they were done). Transfer to wire racks; let cool.
Shortbread can be made 5 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.