I’m back! It’s an understatement to say it’s been a busy couple of months….I’m mixed up in a whirlwind of new students and classical French cuisine. I reached my final quarter of culinary school and will be finishing up with a nice big, stressful final practicum on January 7. After that we can return to regularly scheduled blogging and I promise lots more deliciousness coming your way. Now, you are probably wondering what I could possibly have been up to for two months without leaving any sort of notice. Would you like to see?
At school we have been immersed in classical and provincial French. Two of my favorite dishes were the cassoulet studded with duck confit, and the frozen maple walnut mousse that made me feel like a pastry chef. Classical involved a lot of precision and time-consuming knife cuts…I’m pretty happy that’s behind me now. We ended the quarter with two final French exams last week, and will be spending the rest of the year on Asian and American.
The beginning of October marked Eric’s birthday on the 4th, followed by mine on the 15th. We took a trip to Chicago to celebrate. I am now obsessed with Chicago…that city knows its food. And its architecture. And its pizza.
We took a river cruise, went to the art museum, and got minor stomach bugs which we powered through and forced ourselves to keep eating anyway.
Between getting ready for upcoming parent conferences at work, and finishing up school, I am fully drained physically and emotionally. I received a surprise day off today due to the wild hurricane raging outside, and was more than happy to catch up on my sleep. I decided that the most productive thing I am allowing myself to do all day is bake cookies. What better thing to do on a lousy day than bake? Luckily, I managed to get them done while the power is still on.
I consulted one of my cookbooks, “The Cookiepedia”, and discovered a true gem: pistachio butter cookies. I just consumed my weight in dough alone, never mind how many cookies I’ll eat later. The cookies were crispy, salty, and sweet. So good. The only change I made was to use salted, roasted nuts (that’s all I happened to have but they worked really well), and to dip the cookies in dark chocolate for obvious reasons.
Recipe: Pistachio Butter Cookies
From Stacy Adimano’s Cookiepedia
- 1 cup pistachios ( I used salted, roasted pistachios, but she suggests raw unsalted. If you use salted nuts, just omit the salt later in the recipe)
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg, room temp.
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Make the pistachio butter by pulsing the pistachios in a food processor until they form fine crumbs. With the processor still running, slowly pour in the olive oil until it becomes a paste. It will still be a little chunky but that’s okay.
Beat the pistachio butter with unsalted butter until smooth, then add in the sugars and beat until fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix to combine.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. With a wooden spoon, mix the flour into the pistachio mixture in three separate additions to combine. Spoon dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The cookies spread a lot in the oven so I gave them plenty of space on the sheet. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack.
Once cool, I partly coated the cookies in dark chocolate. I put dark chocolate chips in a small bowl and heated them in 20 second intervals in the microwave, stirring in between, to melt them. Once melted, I dipped my cookies away and got snacking.