Monday, June 16, 2008

Pistachio Lime Thins

I think I might be coming down with something... I made four batches of cookies for shipping this weekend and didn't use a speck of chocolate. Definitely not like me at all.

These pistachio cookies were Chris' choice. A short-bread style slice and bake, rich with butter but flecked with lime and coated in pistachios. I ended up liking them much more than I expected to actually. Like most cookies of this type they are better the second day after all the flavors have a chance to meld. The lime brightens up the butter cookies and the pistachios offer crunch along with their distinctive flavor. Sweet without being overly sweet and rich without overdoing that -- these have probably been my favorite short-bread cookie to date.

Naturally, they were a complete pain to put together. I only had salted shelled pistachios at home, so I had to shell, rinse, and chop a cup of them for the recipe -- it took a while. Other than that the dough was completely sticky and awful to work with. I ended up rolling the logs using plastic wrap because it stuck everywhere and got all over everything -- counters, clothes, hair, hands... Even chilled overnight the dough was sticky and not all that great to work with.

But at least they were worth eating. :) And, they are completely different from your average cookie. So, if you have the time to spend on them, and aren't afraid of getting a little sticky, these are great if you're looking to break out of a cookie rut.

2 cups all purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 Tbsp. freshly grated lime zest
1/2 tsp lime oil
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped, toasted pistachios unsalted
1 large egg white, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons of water

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter, lime zest, and lime oil on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar in a steady stream and mix until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks, then the lime juice and vanilla, mixing well for about 1 minute and scraping down the bowl as needed.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in two additions until almost combined. Remove bowl and finish mixing by hand. Don't overdo it, or you will have tough cookies.

Shape the dough into a mound, and divide into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a six inch log, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Brush the logs with the egg wash and roll in the chopped pistachios. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours, preferably overnight. You can freeze the dough for up to 3 months at this point.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F, and butter a cookie sheet, or line with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Remove logs from the refrigerator. Slice the logs into 1/4-inch thick segments, either straight across or on a diagonal. Turn the log every two to three cuts, to keep it from flattening out. Place the cookies two inches apart on a cookie sheet.

Bake 8-9 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. To ensure even browning, you may want to rotate the pan half way through (I only bake one pan at a time when I make cookies, due to the vagaries of my oven.) Let stand for 2-3 minutes before loosening from the pan with a thin metal spatula. If you use a thick spatula, you may break the cookies!

Freeze, or store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three weeks.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.


Alyssa said...

Mmmm... these look gorgeous! I love pistachios! but would never have thought of pairing them with lime. I'm gonna have to try this recipe. Quick question: your recipe lists baking powder twice. Would one of them be baking soda? If so, which amount is the baking soda? Thanks! Can't wait to try this out.

biscuitpusher said...

oops. it should (and now does) read 1/4 tsp baking soda. thank you for catching that. :)

burkie said...

whatever you put in them, they were excellent! slightly sweet, the tart lime with the still slightly salty, crunchy pistachios--i'd say they're a hit!

Mel said...

These are some of my favorite cookies. I make them every year for Christmas. A great contrast to chocolate oatmeal. Though you should say that it is Carole Walter's recipe. She's the cookie queen, and you should pay respect where it is due.

biscuitpusher said...

agh! I can't believe I forgot to give credit for these cookies to Carole Walter! bad Melissa!

funny enough, I just made them today for my Christmas cookie shipments too.

Randy said...

I loved these cookies so much, we're going to make them to share with some folks next week. I think they are good with the salted pistachios... besides, that's all we could find. Where do you find lime oil??

biscuitpusher said...

I found it at a store called Le Chef Gourmet at the mall up here. You can also order it from Amazon or King Arthur Flour, or check any specialty store in town. The brand I've seen is called Boyajian.

Melinda said...

I use lime essential oil from Whole Foods. Works great. :)