Sunday, October 5, 2014

Pistachio Schoolboy Cookies

These particular cookies are french and the title has been translated from "Petit Ecolier" (Little Schoolboy).  My original intention was to make pistachio bars, but I found this recipe a little more interesting.

The cookie itself is like a shortbread and has very little sugar in it.  The topping of the white chocolate is the added sweetness.  Originally, the recipe stated to cut into squares and place chocolate pistoles or callet squares of dark chocolate on top. Since I was unable to easily find this type of  formed chocolate, I used a cut up chocolate bar.  I also opted for white chocolate instead of dark.  The chocolate was to be placed on top of the cookie after baking.  The chocolate did not melt as expected, so my modicfication was to melt the chocolate in a double boiler.  Then I used a squirt bottle to drizzle on white chocolate.  The recommended chocolate must much thinner than the regular chocolate bars. Also, I did a triangle instead of square shape.

Pistachio cookies are not commonplace, however that does not change the fact that these are delicious enough to add to your list of tea time treats.  In addition, they are basically a slice and bake cookie, so they do not require a lot of time to make.  This recipe makes about 3-4 dozen cookies.

Pistachio Schoolboy Cookies
adapted from Love N Bake via

4-6 oz white or dark chocolate (see note in 2nd paragraph above)
3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pistachio nut paste
1 and 1/2 egg (1/2 egg = 2 tbs whisked egg)
1 1/2 sticks or 6 oz butter
1 tbs milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract

Place butter, salt, pistachio paste and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Cream together until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down the side of the bowl.  Then add the milk, extract and eggs and beat until all is blended together.

Then using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour in one cup increments until no dry streaks remain.  Then divide the dough into 4 equal pieces.  Form each piece into a log 1 1/2 inches in diameter.  Wrap the logs in plastic wrap, place on cookie sheet and put in the refrigerator for about 1 hour, or until firm.

While the dough is chilling, prepare 2 cookie sheets by lining with parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Once dough is firm, take out one log and unwrap.  Place on cutting board and slice dough into rounds 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thick.  Place each slice on prepared cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart.  Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes.  They will be set and be lightly toasted on the bottom when done.  Remove pan from oven.  If using the specialty chocolate, place one square on top of each cookie.

Let cookies rest on pan for 2 minutes and transfer to cooling rack.

Repeat this process until all dough logs are sliced and baked into cookies.  If drizzling the cookies,  the process can be started once all cookies are baked and cooled.  Set up a double boiler and melt chocolate.  Drizzle on cooled cookies by using a fork or a squirt bottle.  Let cookies rest until chocolate is set prior to serving or storing.

Tips and Notes:
1. If you are in a hurry, cooled cookies with chocolate can be placed in refrigerator to help the chocolate set up faster.

2. For something less sweet, just sprinkle some sparkling sugar on top prior to baking. These will be perfectly dunkable in tea or coffee.

3. Be sure to really mix up the pistachio paste prior to using it.  The kind I purchased was just like natural peanut butter- upon opening, there was a pool of oil on top.

4.  Be aware that the cookies do not expand much or change color upon baking.

5. For even more festive looking cookies, instead of drizzling chocolate on top, try dipping 1/2 of cookie into chocolate and sprinkling on finely ground pistachios.  Place on wax paper to let set up.
                                    **LAST YEAR:Chocolate Caramel Candy**