If you’re anything like me, the word pistachio alone draws your attention. Then you find out these are nothing more than the much loved almond butter balls, made with pistachios. But since these have some lemon zest and orange blossom water in it, I think they are more sophisticated and festive. Yet just as good. Or better for a pistachio lover like me.
I don’t mind shelling them, though I often buy shelled ones. They are even more expensive but come to think of it, I never weighed the shells alone and did the math. Maybe they will turn out to be cheaper. And you would’ve avoided getting comfy, putting some music on and concentrating on the nail chipping business that is pistachio shelling. I might be exaggerating a bit
But just as hazelnuts are a bit of a workout, so are pistachios, but SO worth it.
My grinder does such a good job with the pistachios that I get a flour more than ground nuts. Since it’s a coffee bean grinder I can’t blame it. So I chop half of the nuts by hand.
If you do that, be careful because if you start chopping energetically you’ll have pistachios flying everywhere.
I needed to get a bit creative here and try to give these little cookies all the combination of flavors I could. Citrus go very well with pistachios. And so does orange blossom water, a bottle that gets little attention in my pantry, but does wonders when well combined.
So a combination was born for two reasons. I have an unopened bottle of said water that I wanted to use and in these latitudes, it’s a very festive flavor, used in the traditional pannettone, an Italian fruit cake, that gets sold like water in the desert around Christmas time here. It’s not a holiday unless you bought or someone gave you a pannettone.
These can be made with other nuts, almonds and walnuts are my other favorites.
- 1 cup butter (225g, at room tº )
- 4 Tbs 60g confectioners’ sugar
- ½ teaspoon orange blossom water
- Zest of ½ a small lemon
- 2 cups 280g all purpose flour
- ¾ cup ground toasted pistachios
- Extra confectioners’ sugar (for coating)
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy and smooth.
- Add zest, orange blossom water and beat well.
- Add flour, 1 cup at a time and then the pistachios. Mix just until smooth.
- Gather into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Roll portions of cold dough between your palms to form balls.
- Place 1-inch apart on lined baking tray.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until they are a bit golden and cracked.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack. Roll in some extra confectioners’ sugar to coat.
- These cookies freeze well unbaked.
- When you need them, just line them up on a parchment-lined or greased baking tray, thaw, and bake.