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Reading week was not only a week to relax and spend time with my family in Ottawa, but also a week for me to catch up with some bakings! Hehe, I should just call it baking week :). Boy did I bake a lot this week! They were successful and unsuccessful ones. Of course I am blogging about one of my successes. Although I have to say it took 2 tries!

My inspirations came from Martha Stewart’s new cookie book called Cookies. It is a beautiful book! They really know how to photograph their cookies. I highly recommend it for all cookie lover and food photographer wannabes. This book is a present I bought for my boyfriend’s sister for her birthday, a new baker I have recently inspired 😉 She was super happy when I gave this to her and we immediately got busy in the kitchen. We made Earl Gray Tea cookies from this book. Simply delicious recipe 🙂 Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera so I couldn’t take any pictures, but I am very sure I will be making them again soon and blog about the recipe.

The recipe for pistachio cookies also came from this book. Pistachio is one of my favourite nuts. When I was small my mom told me eating them will make you really happy because in Chinese these nuts were known as “happy nuts”. They got their name because their shells split open so it looks like they are laughing with their mouth open..hehe I have to say I believed her….^^”” I love the colours of these cookies, the green really contrast the dark brown chocolate well. This is a wonderful recipe for pistachio lovers and people with gluten free diets. The nutty flavour of the pistachios really comes through in this recipe.

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Chocolate Pistachio Cookies (Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cookies)

Ingredients: 

For the filling:

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/3 cup of milk chocolate chips, melted and cooled

For the cookies:
1 cup of slated shelled pistachios, ground to a paste in a food processor
1/4 cup of sugar
1 large egg white
1/8 tsp of pure vanilla extract

For the glaze:
6 ounces of dark chocolate (70%) or any bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Directions: 

For the filling:

  1. Bring sugar and water to a simmer in a sauce pan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved
  2. Put eggs in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer over a pot of simmering water. Whisk by hand until yolks are warm to the touch, about 2 mins.
  3. Mix yolks with a hand mixer with whisk attachment on medium speed; pour in sugar syrup. Raise speed to high. take it off the heat and mix till the mixture is cool and fluffy, about 3 mins.
  4. Reduce speed to medium; drizzle in the melted chocolate. Refrigerate until firm, about 1hour.

For the cookies:

  1. Put pistachio paste and sugar in a clean bowl. Mix on medium speed with a hand mixer until smooth.
  2. Mix in the egg white, vanilla and salt (mixture will become super sticky!)
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer dough into a pastry bag, or into plastic zip lock bag one of the bottom tip cut. Pip 1-inch rounds onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing about 1 inch apart.
  4. Bake cookies for about 8-10 mins until they are golden and firm around the edges.
  5. Transfer to wire rack and cool.
  6. Spread 1 tsp of chocolate filling on the bottom half of the cookies. Sandwich the cookies and freeze for about an hour.

For the glaze:

  1. Melt chocolate in a double broiler or in the microwave. Please don’t use chocolate chips to melt! They don’t melt properly!! Check out this wonderful article about melting chocolates!
  2. Dip the sandwiched cookies into the melted chocolate. Let the excess drip back into the bowl. Transfer to a baking sheet to dry. Garnish the top with whatever (shredded coconut,slivered pistachios etc)

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