Friday, December 13, 2019

Bon Appétit: Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies

After many years of the same cookies every holiday season, I'm getting more and more into the unusual additions to the dessert table.  I mean, chocolate chip is fine for everyday cookie noshing, but I want something a little more interesting for a special occasion.  I saw these cookies in a post from Bon Appétit online, and having never tried pistachio cookies of any type, decided these were the ones.  I will say, the comments on this recipe reflect where I struggled a little with the filling, but I found that if you refrigerate the pistachio butter until it reaches a better non-melty consistency, then beat it into a smooth pipe-able paste, it all works out just fine.  And the Honey-Vanilla Sablé cookie part would be great alone anyway.

Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies
From Bon Appétit magazine, December 2017

⅓ cup finely chopped raw pistachios
1 log Honey-Vanilla Sablé Dough
½ cup raw whole pistachios
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place pistachios in a small bowl. Unwrap dough and slice crosswise into 18 pieces and roll each between the palms of your hands into smooth balls. Press gently into pistachios to coat half of each ball, then place, pistachio side up, on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart.

Bake cookies until barely golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and press the handle of a wooden spoon about three-quarters of the way down into the center of each cookie to make a round indentation, and wiggle in a circular motion to widen. Return to oven; bake until golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet.

Process ½ cup raw pistachios, 2 tablespoons honey, and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a food processor to a smooth paste.  Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat pistachio paste and butter in a small bowl until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds. If paste is too thin and oily, refrigerate until it firms up, then beat until fluffy.  Dollop 1 to 2 teaspoons pistachio mixture into the indentation in each cookie.

Honey-Vanilla Sablé Dough
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup granulated sugar
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
¼ cup honey

Whisk flour, cardamom, and salt in a medium bowl to combine. Place sugar in a large bowl and scrape in vanilla seeds; save pods for another use. Massage mixture with your fingers until sugar looks like wet sand. Add butter and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Add egg yolk and honey; beat to combine. Reduce speed to low; add dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing well after each addition. Knead dough a couple of times to incorporate any dry bits in the bottom of the bowl.

Divide dough in half and pat into two 9-inch long logs. Wrap each log in parchment paper, then wrap tightly in plastic. Roll each log across work surface to make as round and regular as possible, then chill until firm, about 2 hours.

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