Monday, December 10, 2012
Nutty Chocolate Batons
I can’t even think about, much less eat, pistachios, without thinking of my dear, now departed, sister-in-law, Barb. Many years ago, she raved about them, insisting I try them. And, I’m glad she did…
So---when I came across this Nutty Chocolate Baton recipe recently, no doubt ~ I had to make these cookies! They are crunchy buttery-tasting cookies, dipped into creamy chocolate and those irresistible pistachio nuts.
The English name pistachio, is derived from pisteh, it’s Persian name. It’s also known as “the green almond” and is related to the cashew.
Pistachios go way back in history to the Queen of Sheba. She declared them as food only for royalty, and forbade commoners to grow the tree. The ancient king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, had pistachio trees planted in his fabled hanging gardens.
Fast forward to the 1880’s, when pistachio nuts arrived in the United States. After many years of experimenting, the American pistachio industry was a reality as a commercial crop around the early 1930’s, with the majority of them grown in California.
The pistachio tree lives for centuries with no particular care needed. Supposedly, Iran claims there is a 700-year-old tree still living. One of the most popular uses of pistachios is pistachio ice cream. I think this cookie should be the most popular use!
Just imagine the smell of these cookies baking in the oven...
And the taste when that first bite hits your taste buds…
Nutty Chocolate Batons
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup almond paste
1 egg yolk
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup pistachios, finely chopped and toasted
In a small bowl, cream the butter, sugar and almond paste until light and fluffy.
Beat in egg yolk.
Gradually add flour and mix well.
Shape into a ball, then flatten into a disk.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or until easy to handle.
Divide dough into eight equal portions: divide each portion in half.
On a lightly floured surface, roll each half into a 12-in. rope; cut each rope into 2-in. lengths.
Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets.
Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
In a microwave, melt chocolate chips; stir until smooth.
Dip ends of each cookie in chocolate, then in pistachios.
Let stand on waxed paper until set.
Store in an airtight container.
Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and delicious easy recipes!