PistachioCookies  

Biscotti al Pistacchio

Viscuotta cu Pistacchiu

 

Sicily is the only Italian region where pistachio trees are growing and the town of Bronte is the largest producer in the region. 

Bronte pistachios are preferred for their delicate aroma and the nutty and sweet-sour taste.  

The pistachio nuts are a perfect snack, they are satisfying and the source of several key health benefiting nutrients.  

Pistachios are used in gourmand dishes, risotti, sauces and as condiment to fish and meat dishes. Pistachios are utilized in the meat processing industry, added to the famous Mortadella and other preserved meats; the oil of pistachio and the seed are also used in the preparation of medical creams and beauty product in the fields of dermatology and cosmetology. 

Pistacio on plant

On the sweets side, confectioners use pistachios to make delicious gelati, ice-cream, creams, torroni- nougat, pastries, cakes, and cookies. 

The pistachio cookies prepared with the following recipe, have the right taste and consistency: not too crumbly, not too crunchy, a subtle and delicate flavor, the combined fragrance of the lemon, cinnamon and cloves, the aroma of the butter and characteristics not common to other cookies.

The easy and convenient “Biscotti al Pistacchio” can be prepared in advance, shaped into a log, as in the following directions, kept in the refrigerator or freezer and baked as needed.

 

 MAKES 50 to 60 cookies 

 

  

INGREDIENTS  

 

·          5 cups all purpose flour, 1 lb

·          Pinch of salt

·          1 teaspoon baking powder

·          ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

·          2 minced cloves or ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg

·          zest of one lemon

·          1 cup shelled pistachio, coarsely chopped, 5 oz.

·          1 cup sugar, 8 oz.

·          1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature) ½ lb.   

·          1 egg

·          3 yolks, lightly beat

·          1 tablespoon of honey

·          2 oz. shelled pistachio finely ground for garnish

 

 

PREPARATION  



 

The Dough 

In a large bowl, mix and sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves. Add the lemon zest and the chopped pistachio.

Use other bowl to mix well the sugar and butter and add into the flour mixture.

Add the eggs, honey and mix thoroughly using your hands.

If mixture is too dry add a few tablespoons of milk, if too watery add some flour.

Follow the same procedure if using a mechanical mixer. Do not over mix

Transfer onto a flat floured surface and briefly knead to bring dough together.

Do not handle dough more than necessary. Over mixing would build up gluten, which is good if you are making pasta or bread however it is incompatible to these cookies whose characteristic is crumbliness.

Divide the dough into 2 parts.

Place each piece on a sheet of wax paper and roll dough into 1 ½” wide log. Wrap it tightly and refrigerate.

Follow the same procedure for the other piece. Refrigerate until dough is firm, at least for 2 hours, or store until ready to use.

 

 

The Biscuits 

Take out of refrigerator one log at a time and use a sharp knife to cut it into ½” disks. Place each piece into sheet pans lined with parchment paper, at about 1 ½ inch apart.

Flatten the disks with your damp hand; garnish each cookie with a good pinch of ground pistachio and optionally sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Repeat process with the other log.

 

Or you can roll out dough to ¼” thick and use a cookie cutter, or cut with a sharp knife into any shape; decorate with green colored sugar or any way you prefer.

 

The Baking
Bake in batches at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes; bake cookies until they are a light golden brown.

Be careful not to overcook these delicate cookies.

NOTE:   

Pistachio can be substituted with any other type of nuts.

The proportions between sugar and butter can be slightly changed: in fact to make the cookies more crumbly increase by half ounce each, the sugar and the butter. To make them more solid and crunchy replace the 3 yolks for 2 medium whole eggs.