Monday, September 17, 2012

Pistachio and White Chocolate Cookies

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 White chocolate.  Not my favorite thing.  It brings back some icky childhood memories of something that was around at Christmas called Almond Bark.  The smell makes me queasy.  I have discovered that high quality white chocolate is worth the price, but it is not part of my regular pantry.  I came across a few boxes of great white chocolate at work nearing its expiration, so I picked them up thinking I would make some macadamia nut cookies to send to Nic and Frank.  However, my freezer, although full of nuts, was void of macadamia nuts.  I am a fan of Trader Joe's and just couldn't stand buying the nuts at the local market.  So I decided it was going to be pistachio and white chocolate.  What a great decision that turned out to be!

I followed a pretty basic cookie recipe, which follows. It is credited to Curtis Stone, and of course I can never leave well enough alone.  So here's how it went for me.  I suggest pulling them out while they are still a little soft on top.  They will hold that softness even if they are frozen and thawed.  I did have some a little firmer, and they are equally as tasty, and make much better dunkers.

White Chocolate Pistachio Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup Crisco (it keeps things soft after baking)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4  teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 pound good quality white chocolate chunks
1 1/2  cups shelled, toasted pistachios

Cream sugars and butter in bowl of a stand mixer.  Add vanilla, salt and eggs, mix well.  Add flour and soda and incorporate until no dryness appears.  Add nuts and chocolate.  My pistachios came from the freezer, so I gave them a quick toast in the oven to get them a little crispy.

I then chilled my dough overnight.  Drop onto parchment or Silpat covered sheets, and bake at 375 (350 convection which is how I do it) and watch until they are just getting set and browned on edges.  Cold dough takes a little longer than room temp dough.  Cool on sheets and then transfer to racks to cool completely.  My batch made about 4-5 dozen cookies.  (Curtis must make enormous cookies!)  So, what are you waiting for?  Get in there and bake!

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