I love the holidays. And one of the things I love about it are the sweets that I get to enjoy (in moderation, of course) that just adds to the overall holiday experience. It’s also that time of year where we bakers come up with an excuse to bake to our hearts content (and to sample many imperfect casualties in the process) while at the same time, resolving that we have to lose “x” number of pounds before New Year’s Eve.
I’ve been perusing Pinterest for the last few weeks, getting inspiration from other bakers to come up with my own repertoire of sweets that I plan on gifting lucky family and friends this holiday season. I’m always on the lookout for something new and original. And I found it in these cookies–Pistachio Pudding Cookies.
My best friend got me hooked on pistachios. Seriously. It started with a cake. Then iced cream (damn you Blue Bunny, Ben & Jerry’s and Talenti). Then, a specialty iced coffee drink from a non-chain coffee house in a Northern San Diego beach town whose key ingredient was pistachio nut powder. I tried to replicate the latte by making my own pistachio nut powder. The recipe still needs tweaking but I’ll figure it out sooner rather than later–and that will be for a later post–maybe… LOL! I did, however, make my own Pistachio Nut ice cream in my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. It came out really good.
I actually tried this recipe a week ago. Sort of a “dry run” if you will. Found it on Pinterest (my online “crack”, if you will). Shout out to Shelly and her blog, Cookies & Cups, for this awesome recipe. Enrobed in the pistachio cookie dough is rough chopped pistachios and white chocolate chips. I added the chopped pistachio nuts first, then halved the dough. I baked one half with, and the other half without white chocolate chips. OMG. So, so good. Soft, cakey but slightly chewy. The white chocolate was the perfect accompaniment to this cookie. My family, including my niece Cali, gave it the thumbs up!
So here I am in my kitchen. I left my beautiful Kitchen Aid Accolade mixer down in SD and I’m wondering to myself, how the heck am I going to cream the butter and sugar together for this recipe without having to do it manually by hand? I had googled whether or not I can cream butter and sugar together in my Cuisinart food processor and almost all of the reviews say no. Then I spied my Ninja Ultra Kitchen System. I bought it at Costco over the summer for the primary use of making myself homemade smoothies for breakfast in the mornings before I go to work. It not only comes with a blender BUT a food processing bowl too. I’ve made pizza dough in that bowl with the dough blade attachment so I’m thinking, why not cookies?
The key to making this work is to ensure that the butter you are using is at room temperature. And instead of granulated sugar, I used Baker’s Sugar. It’s ultra fine, dissolves and blends more quickly, and creaming it with butter just takes half the time. I knew I was in business!
The butter and sugar creamed beautifully! I was getting excited. Next up was adding the eggs. Once the eggs were incorporated, I added a box of pistachio pudding mix. Now here’s where I added my own little twist–a little drop of green food coloring (I wanted it to be a little greener in color) and 1/8th of a tsp of pistachio extract. Make sure during this stage that you are scraping down the sides of the bowl so that everything gets mixed together.
What a pretty color it turned out to be! From there I added the dry ingredients (salt, baking soda, flour) and pulsed it a few times before letting the Ninja blend it into cookie dough. The addition of the dry ingredients lightened up the color a bit.
In went the rough chopped pistachio nuts. I love the color of these gorgeous nuts. I pulsed it a few times just to incorporate the nuts in the dough.
I removed the dough from the food processor bowl and into a mixing bowl and added the the white chocolate chips, mixing them in by hand with my spatula.
Now the fun part! Scooping the dough on a baking pan while the oven was pre-heating to 350 degrees. I lined my baking pans with parchment paper and scooped away. I had 12 scoops per baking pan, spaced evenly:
Bakes these gems for 9-10 minutes until edges begin to get golden and the tops are about set. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.
After all that work, decided to make myself a cup of coffee and enjoy a cookie or two. Or three!
PISTACHIO PUDDING COOKIES
Makes 2-3 dozen cookies
- 1 cup of room temperature butter
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 (4 serving box) of Instant Pistachio Pudding
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups of flour
- 1/2 to 3/4 cups of chopped pistachio nuts
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
Note: You can add a drop of food coloring and pistachio or almond extract if you wish. I’ll leave that up to you.