I’m a huge fan of baking with pistachio, but find myself easily discouraged. If you can’t find shelled pistachios, it’s a lot of extra work preparing them – but boy is it rewarding seeing a mountain of pistachio shells (and a modest bowl of pistachios beside it), not to mention the delicious fruit of your labour! I’m also kind of in love with the colour of pistachios? Vibrant green encased by a purple skin. You go, pistachi-o!
I lightly adapted this recipe from Yossy Arefi’s blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. I was inspired by her 2015 Edible Holiday Gift Guide, which really put me in the mood to spend all of my spare time the week before Christmas baking. Part of the fun I get out of baking is researching recipes and flavours you want to work with, or straight up diving into a recipe already perfected by a talented baker. Read on for a new favourite recipe that feature most of my favourite flavours!
Pistachio Vanilla Cardamom Shortbread with Chocolate Chips
Recipe adapted from Apt. 2B Baking Co.
Yield: About 30-35 cookies
This recipe works really well with a food processor. I only have a small 4-cup food processor, so I split the processing into two equally divided batches and combined the dough by hand afterwards. Give yourself ample time for this recipe as the dough needs to chill for at least 2 hours. I ended up chilling mine for two days and they still turned out great! The original recipe also calls for unsalted, shelled pistachios. I could only find roasted (and salted), unshelled pistachios. Again, they were delicious! To offset the salt from the pistachios, I added a very scant ½ tsp of salt instead of the full ½ tsp listed in the ingredients below.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tsp cardamom
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into roughly chunks
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Whisk together all of the dry ingredients, except for the pistachios.
- Place all the dry ingredients (including pistachios) in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the pistachios are fairly finely ground. Try not to overgrind them so the mixture becomes wet (from the oils in the pistachio) – this will make combining the butter and other ingredients more difficult.
- Add the butter and continue to pulse the dough until it just begins to look wet and is loosely crumbly. If it forms into one big, wet mass, you will have trouble at the next step.
- Add the vanilla and chocolate chips and pulse until the dough begins to stick together.
- Remove dough from the food processor and press it together with your hands until it’s one homogenous mass. If you split the ingredients and made two batches like I had to, this is the point where you would combine them.
- Wrap the mass of dough tightly in plastic and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Mine lasted just great after 2 days.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove dough from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for a couple of minutes – it will be very hard and you will need to be patient with the next step, otherwise it may start crumbling as you work with it. I found it easier to cut the dough into two halves and keep one chilled while working with the other.
- Lightly flour your counter or preferred smooth work surface and roll out the dough until it’s roughly ¼” thick.
- Use your favourite shapes and cut the dough! Arrange the cutouts onto the prepared sheet, leaving at least 1” gap between them. I used a simple 2” circle and it worked out great. Re-roll leftovers until you can cut as many shapes as you can. I ended up eating scraps as I went (no raw egg = no big deal!).
- Chill the cut cookie dough for about 10 minutes – just put the whole sheet in the fridge. If it’s cool enough outside and you have access to a secure area (beware of cookie thieves), you can also leave them outside!
- Bake for about 12-14 minutes until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown.
- Cool cookies on pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely (but be sure to try one while still warm!).
- Enjoy and share the pistachio wealth!