These crisp little pistachio cookies are deliciously nutty and go really well with a nice cup of tea. Or coffee. Or neither – just eat them on their own; they’re irresistibly more-ish.
Although they’re wheat-free, you do need a really well-floured board to roll them out on. I use oat flour for it’s complimentary nutty taste but any type of flour will do (except whole wheat – it’s too strong-tasting).
You can buy rosewater from any high end grocery store or Asian food market. It has lots of uses – I keep a bottle of rosewater in my fridge and whisk it into honey-sweetened yoghurt over ice in the summer (Lassi); you can use it to perfume cakes, frosting/icing, strawberries, etc…or sprinkle it over a Bangalore Phal (a bloody hot lamb curry) as a fragrant palliative for the pending palate-searing heat that accompanies the first mouthful; and it’s an essential ingredient in B’stilla (a Moroccan chicken and almond pastry). You could even sprinkle it on your pillow to encourage sweet dreams. Anyway, you get the idea.
These cookies have minimal ingredients so you can really taste the pistachios – and they’re easy to make but the rolling out part is a bit of an effort because the ‘dough’ is rather stiff.
Whole Foods sells raw shelled pistachios in bulk but you might get a better deal at an Asian supermarket if you have one nearby.
(Makes about 40)
15 oz (425g) of unsalted raw shelled pistachios
1 and 2/3 cups (400ml measure) of powdered/icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon of rosewater
Flour for rolling
Pre-heat the oven to 300F (150C)
Spread the nuts in a shallow baking tray and toast them in the oven for 8 minutes, then rub off as much skin as you can in a kitchen towel, or roll them around in a metal fine mesh strainer over the sink; don’t worry if you can’t get all the skins off.
Put the pistachios and powdered sugar in a food processor and pulse until it’s really fine.
Mix the egg and yolks together and blending with a fork, add them a little at a time to the powdered sugar/nut mixture. You’ll have incredibly sticky dough. Add the melted butter and rosewater and knead everything together to combine well.
Divide the dough into two flattened disks and cover one with plastic wrap while you roll out the first batch.
You’ll need a really well-floured surface for this and keep the flour handy for loosening up sticky bits. Roll the dough out until its approx 1/8th inch (4mm) thick, then using a 2 inch (5cm) well-floured cookie cutter, cut them out and place on an un-greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 300F (150C) in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until they’re golden.
Carefully transfer them to a rack to cool and dust with powdered sugar while they’re still warm.
These delicious little treats will keep in an airtight container at room temp for about 5 days (if you have any left by then).