This recipe is for some gorgeous pistachio-crusted shortbread biscuits I made last week. It's originally an Ottolenghi recipe, but I just felt that the biscuits are so good not sharing would be criminal. It's also a bit different to the original.
Image soft, crumbly, buttery shortbread flavoured with cardamom, crusted with pistachio pieces, sprinkled with vanilla sugar before being cooked, and you're about right. They're delicious, but beware before you start that they are quite messy, and are quite a lenghty recipe, due to the leaving in the fridge. But it's worth it, no doubt about it.
- 6-10 cardamom pods (depending on how strong you want this flavour to be, I used 8 and it was subtle but still definitely there).
- 200g unsalted and softened butter.
- 265g plain flour (use white rather than wholemeal unless you want weirdly-coloured biscuits).
- 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- 35g icing sugar.
- 60g shelled pistachio nuts (NOT salted!).
- 1 egg, lightly beaten.
- 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar (just put a vanilla pod in a jar of caster sugar a few days before use to make your own).
- Electric hand mixer/beater.
- Pestle and mortar.
- Food processor/ sharp knife and board.
- Flat tray.
- Baking trays lined with baking parchment.
- Using a pestle and mortar, crush the cardamom pods, before taking the shells off and grinding the seeds to a fine powder.
- Using the electric mixer, mix the butter, flour, salt, ground cardamom and icing sugar until a paste is formed. You don't need to incorporate much air so stop as soon as you get a paste!
- Turn out the dough, dust with flour and roll into a log 3-4cm in diameter, and then wrap in cling film before leaving in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Whilst the dough is chilling, chop or ground the pistachios finely, but leaving a few chunkier pieces. Scatter onto a tray.
- Brush the log with egg and roll in the pistachios (this is messy) and re wrap with clingfilm. Leave to set in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 150oC.
- Remove clingfilm and cut log into slices of 5-10mm thick. Layout on baking parchment, with spaces of approx. 2cm between.
- Sprinkle with vanilla sugar, and put in oven.
- Bake for approx. 20 minutes, and should remain golden. Remove from oven, and allow to cool before storing in a sealed jar.
(P.S. These pictures were taken with my new camera, you like?!??)
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