Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pistachio and White Chocolate Cookies

Gay from A Scientist in the Kitchen is the host of this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I have that green jewel of a nut - pistachio


I have in an earlier WHB featured fresh Pistachio but as that brief season is long gone, it's back to the more common dried versions.

There does seem to be a few research papers indicating that Pistachios can be quite good for you - they aid in the improvement of the cardiovascular system, relieve stress and decrease the levels of bad cholesterol. They also have high levels of Lutein - an important antioxidant in the fight against macular degeneration.

Nutrionally these small nuts pack a punch - they contain Vitamins A, B6,C, E, and K, Betaine, Choline, Folate, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin, and Thiamin along with Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Sodium and Zinc.

For this week's recipe I've delved into one of my latest acquisitions, Dean Brettschneider's Global Baker and pulled out the most amazing recipe for Pistachio and White Chocolate Cookies. Now, I'm sure that since pistachios are so good for us, that these cookies surely can't be all bad.

pistachio and white chocolate cookies

Pistachio and White Chocolate Cookies
[Makes about 42 cookies]

140 grams softened butter, cut into cubes
100 grams caster sugar
100 grams soft dark brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons milk
vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
150 grams plain flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
50 grams rolled oats
60 grams pistachio nuts, chopped roughly
140 grams white chocolate, chopped roughly (I used Lindt)
slivered pistachio nuts, extra

Put the softened butter, caster and brown sugar into a bowl and using an electric mixer, beat until creamy and light. You'll have to scrap down the sides of the bowl a few times to ensure an even result.

Place the egg, milk and vanilla bean paste or extra into a small bowl - whisk together with a fork and then add to the creamy butter mixture. Continue beating until it has been absorbed.

Double sift the plain flour together with the baking powder and baking soda and on a low speed add this along with the oats to the creamed mixture. Beat until almost incorporated, toss in the nuts and chocolate and while still on the lowest speed, beat until just mixed through.

The book recommends a weight of 35 grams for each cookie but I felt this was just too large - I've used a small ice-cream scoop to scoop out the dough and the resulting balls weigh around 20 grams.

Sprinkle the top of each ball with a little of the extra slivered pistachios - If you want a more even spread of pistachio I would add them halfway through the cooking time.

Space them well apart on baking paper lined trays as they will spread and bake in a preheated 170°C/340°F oven for about 10 minutes - if you want them crunchy rather than soft and chewy you'll need to bake them for a few minutes more.

Let them cool on the tray for a few minutes before moving them onto a wire rack to cool completely - they are very pliable straight out of the oven.

pistachio and white chocolate cookies

I'd like to finish by adding that this marks a bit of a milestone for me - my 100th WHB posting!

It was a surprise, when organising photos in Flickr, to find that my WHB set was at 99 photos - so to mark the occasion I made a little mosaic.

Weekend Herb Blogging #1 Weekend Herb Blogging #2
Weekend Herb Blogging #3 Weekend Herb Blogging #4

The last 100 were tasty and colourful and I hope the next 100 will be just as enjoyable.



  1. 100 WHB posts is indeed an achievement - you do manage to come up with the most amazing foods and photograph them beautifully - I was admiring the green pistachios in your photos of the cookies - will look forward to many more of your WHB posts

  2. Wow, 100 gorgeous photos! What a great mosaic. Every week you have something drool-worthy. Love the pink cookie with the splash of green pistachio! I've never seen slivered pistachios like this, although I was excited recently to find some shelled ones at Costco here and I've been thinking of recipes to use them in.

  3. AnonymousMay 18, 2008

    These look gorgeous--the pistachios do indeed look like little jewels in those cookies. Congratulations on your 100 entries!

  4. Thanks Johanna - they are lovely pistachios and so very photogenic!

    Thanks Kalyn - any pistachio is a good pistachio, I love just nibbling on the dry roasted in the shell versions but these slivered ones are rather special, they are produced by Pariya Food

    Thanks Ricki!

  5. Congrats on the 100th!
    Those lovely cookies are a fitting post.
    I just want to dive into the mosaic and start eating!

  6. Thanks Katiez - i'll follow in behind you ;)


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