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orange & pistachio cookies

August 5, 2009

“Ok, enough with the pistachios already girl!” I can hear the voices coming at me out of my computer screen. “In case you haven’t noticed, they aren’t cheap and we’re in the middle of a bit of a belt-tightening phase, if you know what I mean?” Why, yes. Yes I do. But you know what? Try taking a wander out of your local big-chain-supermarket and into the little grocer down the street instead. No, not a providore or a fancy we-sell-single-origin-everything store. The one that sells cauliflower for $1.50 a head in winter. Yes. That one.

I’ve found these shops (normally an ethnically focused one, though not necessarily) best for getting fresh produce – they normally have a high turnover rate, so your nuts will be fresher. Oh, and you’ll be paying at least 20% less for them.

The only problem is that if you’re anything like me, you’ll get excited and buy a few (hundred grams) too many. Hence the pistachio recipe volcano. (There’s only one left after this, I promise).

Orange & Pistachio Biscuits

I made these biscuits as a farewell present to my team at work seeing as I was moving divisions and all. Unfortunately for them (and fortunately for me) the family & I liked them so much that there weren’t quite enough to put into the goodie bags I’d bought. (Fortunately for everyone, I made lime & coconut marshmallows to compensate). Tell you what, they’re oh so melty in your mouth, and the citrus zing matches the fragrant nuttiness of the pistachios so well.

You will need:

1/3C (55g) whole almonds
1/3C (55g) whole pistachios
1/2C (90g) icing sugar
125g butter, softened
1 orange
1 egg
1C (170g) plain flour

the nutty meal

the nutty meal

Step One:

Grab your nuts. (Stop giggling). Ok now toss them into a food processor along with your icing sugar and grind like crazy until they’re broken up into itty bitty pieces. We’re looking for a mixture that has some bits that are almost the same texture as flour, and other bits that are just, well, crushed nuts. This may take a while if your food processor is slow. You could try a mortar and pestle, but that will take you even longer.

poor orange lost its skin...

poor orange lost its skin…

Step Two:

Zest your orange so you have lovely citrussy smelling hands and a good amount of zest besides. Toss said zest into a mixer with your softened and cubed butter, and beat it til all the butter smells just like your fingers. Zesty. It should also look smooth and pale at this point.

tip the nut meal into the zesty butter

tip the nut meal into the zesty butter

Step Three:

Tip your nut mixture in with your zesty butter and mix it all together until it is combined. Now egg in, and hey, a splash of the juice from the orange too (about 50ml should do it) and mix that together too.

Step Four:

Shake your beaters off, grab a wooden spoon and start to work your flour in. Make sure all the flour is well combined because otherwise you’ll end up with white spots in your biscuits. Once it’s all in, you’ll have a doughy mix. Not hard enough to roll out, not soft enough to pipe.

slap 'em down, roll 'em up!

Step Five:

You’ll need a layer of glad wrap, a layer of foil and a layer of baking paper at the ready. Dump the mix in spoonfuls along the baking paper. Once it’s all down, smooth it out a bit, then roll it up in its triple layered casing like you would sushi. The foil will help everything stay in place and the glad wrap will keep out any nasty freezer odours and moisture.

rolled up cookie dough

Step Six:

Pop your sausage (oh dear! Stop with the innuendo already!) into the freezer for about 3 hours. If you have a masterchef-style blast freezer, you will not need to put it in for that long, but really – who has one of those lying around?

sliced cookies on a tray

sliced cookies on a tray

Step Seven:

Pull the dough out of the freezer and unwrap it. While it thaws just a bit, heat your oven up to 180C (or 160C fan forced) and line your baking trays. You won’t need to grease them too. (Or, you can not line them and just grease them. Your choice). Use a sharp knife to cut the sausage into flat discs, about 3mm wide at most.

Step Eight:

Pop them in the oven, and when they’re golden, pull them out. It’ll take between 15 and 20 minutes. And don’t worry! They’ll crisp as they cool. That’s the butter doing its thing. And you know what, waiting til they’re cool to eat them is oh-so-much-harder than it is to make them…

orange and pistachio cookies


  • #1
    August 5th, 2009

    Hmmm lovely cookies! Finding good grocers are dangerous stuff, I recently had SHISO & YUZU FEAST due to them! lol

    Shez said grab your nuts. *giggles*

  • #2
    August 5th, 2009

    I always have pistachio to snack on. Love these cookies 🙂

  • #3
    August 5th, 2009

    Salty pistachios are wonderful, even if they are a bit pricey. Great combination with the orange, and in cookie form, too.

  • #4
    August 5th, 2009

    This looks lovely. I think I might try them out. Can I use Almond Meal instead of whole almonds?

  • #5
    August 5th, 2009

    Orange and pistachio is a nice combination. You’re so right about little grocers that sell in bulk being cheaper. The scoops always do make me a bit greedy with the nuts though!

  • #6
    August 6th, 2009

    @Yas: Thanks 🙂 You sound like you’re complaining about having that much to eat, but deep down I know you loved it! And oh… *blush*

    @Anh: Y’know, I’ve only recently acquired a taste for nuts. Couldn’t stand them before! I hear they’re very good for you (in moderation).

    @Belle: They are, aren’t they. And thank you 🙂

    @Katherine: Thanks! And yes, definitely. You won’t get the texture of small almond pieces, but if you grind your pistachios so they’re a little less fine, it will all balance out. Hope you enjoy them!

    @Arwen: Oh I know. 100g looks like such a small amount to be taking home when it’s in a bag like that, so I always go for two… or three…

Shez