Pistachio and Orange Cookies

Pistachios are one of my favorite nuts, and I’ve decided to use them as the main ingredient in these easy to make cookies. On top of adding their unique flavor and creamy texture, they give the cookies an interesting and appetizing greenish color.
I’ve also used another favorite ingredient of mine – orange zest – which added wonderful aroma to the cookies. To deepen this aroma, and for some added flavor and texture, I’ve added some candied orange zest on top of the orange icing. All this created these tasty cookies. Try them and enjoy.

Notes:
* If you prefer sweeter cookies, or if you choose not to add the icing, increase the amount of sugar according to your taste, up to 1 cup.
* If you choose to add the icing, note that it will soften the cookies after a while, so it’s best to add it close to serving. The candied orange zest can be made in advance.
* The dough can be frozen, wrapped in wax paper and placed in a freezer bag, for up to two months.
* To bake the cookies from frozen, add 2-3 minutes to the baking time.

Makes: about 60
Prep time: 20 minutes
Chilling time: 2 hours (or freezing, see notes)
Baking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
½ cup raw pistachios
1 stick butter (115 grams), soft
1 L egg
½ cup sugar (see notes)
1 Tbs finely grated orange zest (from ½ large orange)
1½ cups flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
For the candied orange peel:
Thinly sliced orange zest, from ½ large orange
1/3 cup water
2 Tbs sugar
For the orange icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tsp fresh orange juice
For serving:
1/4 cup roughly chopped raw pistachios

1. The cookies: process the pistachios finely in a spice grinder and place in a bowl, with the butter, egg, sugar and orange zest. Whisk together and add the flour, baking powder and salt. Knead briefly, to form a soft dough. Divide the dough in half, roll each half to a log of about 1.6” (4 cm) thick, and about 11” (28cm) long, and wrap with wax paper. Place in the fridge for two hours (or freeze, see notes).

2. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line cookie sheet with baking paper. With a sharp knife, slice the logs into thin slices, about 0.2”(0.5 cm).

3. Bake for 10 minutes, checking the bottom of the cookies for doneness by gently lifting one with a spatula. Transfer to a rack to cool completely before adding the icing, candied orange and chopped pistachio.

4. The candied orange: mix the ingredients in a small pan, bring to the boil, lower the heat and cook until the water evaporates and the orange peels are soft and shiny.

5. The icing: place the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add a few drops of the orange juice, while mixing, to form a thick icing.

 

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