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Thursday, April 10, 2014

chocolate cranberry pistachio cookies.

It took me a while to decide on what to bake yesterday. I needed something portable, something that could withstand the ghastly heat of the sun these days, as well as something that is elegant and presentable. I immediately thought of brownies or cookies, but I didn't have any interesting brownie recipes to try out so I went with the latter. Granted these don't fulfill the criterion of keeping well under hot weather because of the chocolate coating but at least they were suitable enough to give away as a present. I'm just hoping that they would be consumed before the chocolate melts.

Out of all the cookie recipes I had bookmarked I went with this one because I was up for a challenge. It's extremely rare that I have the will or energy to make something that has many components lately so I took advantage of the mood I was in yesterday. I was reminded again that as laborious as multi-component recipes are, the end results are always worth it, taste as well as presentation-wise. Well, usually.

My pistachio paste turned out unexpectedly brown, so much so that the finished cookies resembled chocolate ones. But of course, they tasted distinctively of fragrant roasted pistachios. Perhaps I'd overbaked them a little bit but I found that they were a tad too crunchy. Maybe it's better that you don't let them brown too much.

Assembling these cookies was particularly fun. You can check out the behind-the-scenes video here. I'm definitely up for another of such a project soon.

Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Cookies
cookie portion adapted from here
makes 20

For the cookies:
4 ounces shelled toasted pistachios (about 1 cup), ground to a paste in a food processor
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg white
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

For assembly:
melted dark or milk chocolate
dried cranberries

Make the cookies: Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare baking sheets.

Beat the pistachio paste and sugar together until smooth. Mix in the egg white, vanilla and salt.

Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4 inch plain round tip and pipe 1 inch rounds onto the baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 1 inch apart.

Bake for about 8 minutes, until the cookies are firm and golden around the edges. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Assemble the cookies: Sandwich a dollop of chocolate in between two cookies then cover with chocolate entirely. Stud the top with a cranberry. Repeat for the rest of the cookies.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour for the chocolate to firm up before consuming.

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