After the last Chocolate with Francois I need to return to basics. While the end result of that recipe was something delicious and beautiful, it was not a recipe that most home bakers would attempt. I love that we did-learning new techniques and trying something that is a challenge is always good for us. But today I want something I can taste at the end of the day,not three days from today. I have some beautiful pistachios and thought I would make pistachio shortbread. I was inspired by the Hazelnut Shortbread that one of my favorite chefs posted on his blog, Chef Eddy Van Damme. His photos and recipes always inspire me. And shortbread is one of my favorite cookies. I love it's simplicity and melt in your mouth deliciousness. You take that first bite,the crunch reverberates leaving tiny little crumbs covering your lips -swoop goes your tongue, catching every little morsel. Your taste buds experience the butter, then the nuttiness and sweetness. If your only experience with shortbread is what you buy in the stores please try this recipe. It's like anything else in life and pastry-what you make yourself with your freshest ingredients is always going to be tastier then what you buy from the store. Make this today , it lends itself to all occasions-you can dress it up and take it to an elegant evening party or you can wrap it up in little bag and brighten someones day with a gift from your heart.
Yield: 40 cookies
8 oz (8 oz) Unsalted butter, soft 240 g
7/8 cup (3.5 oz) Powdered sugar 105 g
½ teaspoon ( ½ tsp) Salt 2.5 g
1 teaspoon (1tsp) Vanilla extract 5 ml
1 vanilla bean,split and the seeds scraped into the batter
¾ Cup (3 oz) Pistachio flour, toasted 90 g ( I toasted the pistachios for 5-10 minutes then ground them up just like almond flour)
1 + ¾ Cup (8 oz) Pastry flour 240 g
1. Mix the butter and powdered sugar until well blended but not creamed.
2. Add salt, vanilla seeds and vanilla extract. Mix in the toasted pistachio flour.
3. Add flour and mix until just combined. Place in a refrigerator until cold enough to be rolled.
4. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into desired shapes.
5. Bake at 350°F (180°C) until light golden brown, about 14 minutes.
These spread a little more than normal for shortbread-it's my first experience with pistachio flour and it was a little oilier than hazelnut or almond flour that I have ground in the past. Next time I will experiment with a little more pastry flour to offset that .