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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pistachio Vanilla Bean Cookies

Delicious cookies and Santa - a match made famous in American folklore.  So what should you serve the jolly guy this year?  Our vote here at Jonny Sparks Lounge goes to these pistachio vanilla bean cookies.

We put these cookies on our Thanksgiving dessert buffet, and folks have been thanking us for sharing them ever since.  We've received enough requests for the recipe that I decided to interrupt the regularly scheduled postings long enough to share it with all of you.

This roll style cookie sets up crumbly and firm, and cooks up short, sweet and savory with enough heft to transport well so you can take it to your cookie exchange or holiday party.

Prep time is pretty quick, but allow at least two hours for the dough to set up in the fridge before cutting and baking.  One recommendation for the vanilla beans - we've been on a vanilla bean kick here for about a year.  Our favorite beans are sweetly fragrant Madagascar vanilla beans, which can usually be found at Whole Foods alongside beans from Zimbabwe and Uganda.


1 cup butter - softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 vanilla bean
2 cups flour
1 cup finely chopped pistachios
6 oz white chocolate
2 tsp shortening (like Butter Flavored Crisco)


  1. Beat the butter with an electric mixer or in a stand mixer for about 30 seconds on medium-high.  Add sugar, vanilla extract, and salt.  Beat together until combined, scraping the sides to mix well.  
  2. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise.  Use the tip of the knife to scrape the seeds from the bean halves and scoop them into the butter mixer.  Beat until combined.
  3. Add in flour.  Continue to blend until combined.  If the dough starts to get crumbly, then use a wooden spoon to gently mix/squoosh in the rest of the flour.  Continue to stir to add the pistachio nuts.
  4. Divide the dough in half.  Shape each half into a 1-1/2 inch thick log about 7 inches long. Wrap each log in wax paper and chill 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  5. When the dough is ready to cut, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Cut the chilled dough log into slices about 1/4 inch thick.  Place the slices about an inch apart on the prepared cookie trays.  Bake about 10 minutes, just until firm and browned on the bottoms.  Cool on a tray while you prepare the chocolate glaze.
  6. In a heavy saucepan, combine white chocolate and shortening.  Heat and stir over low heat until melted.  Dip each cookie part way into the chocolate and cool on waxed paper, or roll into reserved chopped pistachios before cooling.
These cookies are divine on their own, but dipping them in white chocolate sends the savory cookie over the moon with a sweet bite.  If you're truly nuts about nuts, then roll the chocolate side in pistachios - lovely and delicious.  Enjoy!  

1 comment:

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