Sunday, November 27, 2005

SHF/IMBB Cookie Swap: Orange Pistachio Cookies

This month's joint SHF/IMBB event is a Virtual Cookie Swap. I really wanted to take part in this event, and in fact planned ahead what I should bake. However, being the procrastinator I am, I left the actual work to the very last weekend. This was a busy -- in fact eventful-- weekend in my house and the realization that my precious little book (where all my favorite cookie recipes resided) had mysteriously disappeared did not help things, either. My search through my cookbooks for another recipe brought me across this one from a Gold Medal Cookies and Bars booklet, which really reminded me of my lost favorite. So I substituted pistachios for the pecans in the recipe and baked the cookies. Although they turned out to be quite good, I must say that they lacked the melt-in-your-mouth delicacy of my lost favorites. The next time I bake these, I plan to make a few modifications which I hope will improve the results. But right now there is no time for experimentation; so without further ado, I present to you the latest addition to my cookie repertoire:
  • 1 3/4 c flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks softened butter
  • 1/2 c confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tsp grated orange peel
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c chopped pistachios
  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, cut into tiny pieces
  • 1 tsp shortening (I used butter)
In a large bowl, beat all the ingredients except the pistachios, chocolate and 1 tsp butter on medium speed until a dough forms. Stir in the pistachios with a spoon. Shape into a 12" log, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for a couple of hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375F. Cut the dough into 1/4" slices. Place the slices on an ungreased cookie sheet about 1" apart. Bake about 10 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned. Remove from cookie sheet and cool completely.

Melt the chocolate with the reserved teaspoonful of butter. Dip half of each cookie into the chocolate, and shake it for excess chocolate to drip back. Place the cookies on waxed paper to allow for chocolate to set.