I know I’ve discussed before how I’m not the best of bakers. That’s not meant to scare you off anything, but it does make me super excited when something goes well for me in the baking department! It’s been a while since I baked anything actually. I know the holidays have just been and the internet was awash with Christmas recipes for baked goods and sweet treats, but I was not one of those people because…I didn’t actually bake anything.
Ooops. I blame too much holidaying by the beach, not quite the scenery for festive baking 😉
This came about because of the recipe this was adapted from. I was just browsing the internet for one of my articles for a student website, writing up about festive cookie recipes (…does that count instead of baking any?) and though this one didn’t make the cut because it wasn’t quite like the ones looking like mini Santas or anything, it still stuck with me. Because white chocolate and pistachios? Hello.
And on top of that? They’re made with browned butter. If you haven’t made anything with browned butter, I totally suggest you rectify that immediately. It’s a miracle ingredient that smells amazingly nutty and rich, and adds such a wonderful flavour to baked cakes, loaves, and even these cookies. Seriously, go pick a recipe with browned butter, even if it’s not this one. You need to.
(Above, brunch on New Year’s Eve. Bacon, waffles, maple syrup, quail’s eggs & blue cheese. SO GOOD)
So I ended up making these are the first baked goods for the new year. If this is the start, 2015 should be pretty good, really.
I’m not even all that much of a chocolate fan (caramel/toffee creations all the way man, but don’t talk to me about banoffee), but I upped the choco-ante and made mine with half dark chocolate and half white chocolate. Delicious.
You should be able to find unshelled pistachios in health food stores, or in larger bakery supply aisles in the supermarket. If not, the 20 minutes or so it takes to shell them is totally worth it.
Makes about 15 cookies, depending on your cutter.
Adapted from here.
115g of butter, browned and cooled to room temperature.
2 tbsp of caster sugar
190g of dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste
190g of plain flour
3/4 tsp of baking powder
small pinch of salt
115g of white chocolate, cut into small chunks
115g of dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), cut into small chunks
100g of unshelled pistachios, roughly chopped.
In a small heavy-based saucepan, melt the butter over low heat, stirring nearly continuously. The butter will soon enough being to foam, and slowly turn to golden brown after about 10 minutes. It will also smell somewhat nutty. Turn off the heat and take the pan away from the hob immediately, stirring for another minute or so, and transfer to small bowl to ensure that it doesn’t continue to cook (or else you will burn your delicious butter. Sad times). More info on browning butter can be found here (You can even just spread it over toast as a quick snack for a different taste of butter! Delicious). Let the browned butter cool for about 1 hour or so in the fridge.
When the butter has cooled and solidified somewhat, using a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy, and a little paler, for about 5 minutes on medium speed in a stand mixer or hand held whisk.
Continue mixing, scraping down the sides when necessary, and add the egg and vanilla. Scrape down the bowl. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl. Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg/butter mixture whilst the speed of your machine is low. Mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolates and the pistachios. If you’re using a hand-held device, it may be easier to do the latter by hand as the dough becomes quite firm.
Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour, wrapped in clingfilm, but as the original recipe states, the dough just becomes more and more delicious as you leave it. I left mine overnight, and you could tell the flavours had intensified when the dough was unwrapped.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Take your dough out from the fridge, and leave until the oven has heated up before cutting the softened dough into 3/4 inch cookies. Place on a baking sheet, and pop into the oven for about 12-15 minutes.
They should be a deeper golden brown at the edges, but still somewhat squishy in the middle and inside. Let them cool fully before
devouring eating. They’ll keep for a few days in an air-sealed tin.