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Entries in nuts (2)

Monday
Sep262016

Very Lemony Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

 

     Lemon shortbread? Yes. Pistachio laced lemon shortbread? Hell yes! Three tablespoons of lemon juice may sound like a lot and it is. It’s what makes these melt in your mouth cookies zing your taste buds and standout from other shortbread recipes. That plus the added silky, subtle, crunch from the pistachios helps make the tedious task of shelling, blanching and skinning the nuts worth it.  

Makes up to 2 dozen cookies

1 ½ sticks butter, softened and cut in pieces (12 tablespoons)

2/3-cup sugar

1 egg separated

1-teaspoon vanilla

Grated zest from two lemons

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup chopped pistachios, shelled, skins removed

1 ¾ cups cake flour

     Preheat oven to 325°F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together, on medium speed, until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla, continue beating until incorporated, add lemon juice slowly. Lower speed to stir, mix in pistachios until evenly distributed, then add flour. Mix until combined; remove bowl and finish incorporating flour using a spatula. The dough will be soft.

     Using a tablespoon measure, or small ice cream scoop, place dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 1 inch apart. Press dough down slightly to flatten. The cookies won’t spread, but will puff up.

     NOTE: This is a perfect dough for a shaped cookie pan like the one I used.

  

 

Sunday
Nov092014

Panforte

 

     Panforte is cross between nougat and fruitcake, a bread and a candy. I think this is one of the Christmassiest desserts ever. For me it's the aroma that wafts around the kitchen when it's baking.

     There's nothing to be intimidated by, it's not tricky to make just a bit sticky to make. The honey syrup hardens really quickly so you have to move fast from mixing to getting the batter into the pan. What’s nice is that this Italian spiced “bread” keeps for ages, easily a month or two wrapped well at room temperature.

 Ingredients

2 cups toasted almonds, coarsely chopped

2 cups candied citron mixture (like lemon, lime, orange, cherry)

Grated zest from one lemon

¾ cup flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1-cup sugar

¾ cup honey

     Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Spay paper and sides of pan with cooking spray.

     Mix the almonds, citron, zest, flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg together in a large bowl.

     Heat the sugar and honey in a small pan on low heat stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth, bubbles slightly and reads 240°F on a candy thermometer. Pour honey syrup into nut mixture and stir well, the batter stiffens quickly, so work fast. Scrape into prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula or your fingers when it’s cool enough to handle. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the center feels like soft custard and your finger comes away clean. Do not over bake. The panforte will firm up as it cools. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes, run a knife around the edge to loosen, remove pan and cool completely. Remove the bottom and parchment paper, sprinkle heavily with confectioner’s sugar.

It's All Delicious note: I mushed two recipes together; one from David Lebovitz and the other from The Essential New York Times Cookbook.