On to the plate

Experimenting with flavours, colours and style of food served at our place

Chocolate and Pistachio Cookies

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You know what? I’ve realised I liked Pistachio nuts. It’s a crazy thought. When Mark’s Aunt and Uncle flew out to see his Mum in October last year, my MIL bought a bunch of goodies to leave in their room. Most of those goodies weren’t eaten. And I came to benefit from a packet of scroggin type mix.

The other day I felt like the same thing and toddled off to the supermarket. The range was vast, but I wanted the same as I’d had a year before. Why? Because they had Pistachio nuts in them. And I liked them.

Cookie

I’ve been working my way through a book by David Lebovitz, Ready for Dessert. I’m rather fond of his writing, and his recipes. I couldn’t afford *another* cookbook so I borrowed this one from the Library. I had to wait my turn as well!

I have been wanting to make Chocolate Chip Cookies for a few weeks now. Having tried several recipes where the writer proclaimed them “the best ever” and being left realising what one person deems “best” is not necessarily what everyone (me) deems best.

But I was pretty sure the cookies in David’s book would be worthy of a try. The recipe (page 188) called for nuts and gave some suggestions. Pistachio nuts were not amongst them, but I’m pretty sure they weren’t left out of the list because they weren’t worthy.

The recipe, which I halved, called for dark chocolate, at least 45% cocoa solids. Thankfully for us in New Zealand, Whittakers makes a number of chocolate bars of varying percentages. So I was spoilt for choice. However I don’t like my cookies too bitter, so 50% it was, plus I still had some in the pantry.

ChocNuts1

The recipe calls for the dough to be shaped into a roll and then left in the fridge, for at least 24 hours. Plan ahead people.

Don’t you just love the richness of the chocolate and the vibrancy of the Pistachios? Not only do the colours work well, but they are a great combination in the cookies.

Cookies

I was crossing my fingers Mr Fussy would go along with this recipe. He doesn’t like nuts, but I knew he’d never tried a Pistachio before. As expected he turned up his nose as I was making these, and he wasn’t prepared to try a nut pre-dough. His thought was he’d just pick them out if he didn’t like them. I’m pretty sure his mind was made up on the matter. After all it was a nut. However exotic to our usual tastes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies by David Lebovitz

Ingredients

350g plain flour

3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

225g unsalted butter at room temperature

215g brown sugar

150g white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used my very own brew!)

2 size 7 eggs, at room temperature

225g nuts e.g. walnuts, pecans, almonds or macadamia nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

400g dark chocolate (with at least 45% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped into 1.5-3cm chunks or 340g chocolate drops)

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  • In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl by hand), beat together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar and vanilla on medium speed until smooth.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly incorporated, then stir in the flour mixture followed by the nuts and chocolate chunks.
  • On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into quarters.
  • Shape each quarter into a log about 23cm long.
  • Wrap the logs in glad wrap and refrigerate until firm. Preferably for 24 hours.
  • Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 180deg Celsius.
  • Line 2 baking trays with baking paper, or silicone baking mats.
  • Slice the logs into disks around 2cm thick and place on the baking tray 8cm apart.
  • If nuts or chocolate crumble out, simply push them back in.
  • Bake, rotating the baking trays midway through baking, until the cookies re very lightly browned in the centres, about 10 minutes.
  • Leave the cookies to cool on the baking trays until firm enough to handle, then use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.

CookieSupreme

Just so you know, those cookies were no longer hot from the oven, or even warm. The chocolate was still gooey, and delicious I might must add.

I would very much like a Silpat mat. I’ve had a look online and they’re not cheap. I’ve found a place in NZ (sella website) that has them, but at NZ$79 they’re pricey! Hence the reason I started looking elsewhere. I think it might be on my Christmas list, and coming again from Amazon.com.

At the beginning I said we’d tried several recipes proclaiming greatness. This recipe did not. But Mr Fussy (who doesn’t like the Pistachios) and I agree, these are the best cookies we’ve had to date. As for picking the Pistachios out, it’s almost impossible. Now I feel bad about using them. I’ve promised next time to make just plain chocolate chip cookies.

CookieStack

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