No need to pull out the food coloring. God has already given us some pretty amazing colors in the food He created for us, so there’s no reason for us to try to mimic them with cheap – and unnecessary – imitations. For example: cranberries and pistachios, a deep magent-like red, and a lovely dark sage green. Gorgeous!
And to combine them in a cookie? Genius!
I have the pleasure this year of participating in the Second Annual International Bloggers Cookie Recipe Exchange, hosted by Lori of Fake Food Free, and Andrea of Food Embrace. It’s a virtual cookie exchange, where instead of exchanging actual cookies, we exchange the recipe. I was sent 2 recipes to choose from by Mindy of The World in My Kitchen and I picked her Pistachio-Cranberry Icebox Cookies specifically because of the gorgeous color – not to mention flavor – combination. I mean, what says Christmas more than red and green? And even better if you say it with food!
Here’s Mindy’s original recipe, adapted from Epicurious:
Pistachio-Cranberry Icebox Cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbl granulated sugar
1 tsp finely grated fresh orange zest (about one large orange)
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup turbinado sugar (or you could use other colored decorative sugar)
Stir together the flour, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.
Brush egg over the log (but not the ends). Sprinkle the sugar over the egg mixture and press to stick, covering the entire log (except the ends).
And here’s my version:
Cranberry Pistachio Cookies
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
- 1 egg, lightly beaten (or 1/4 cup milk of any kind)
- raw sugar
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cardamom and salt; set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, shortening and honey until creamy. Add in orange zest.
- Gently stir in the flour mixture. Add pistachios and cranberries.
- Divide dough into two portions. Press each portion of dough together into a log about 1.5″ diameter. Wrap the log firmly in wax paper and chill until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
- When ready to bake, brush each log with the beaten egg or milk, then roll in sugar. Slice thinly and place each slice on a lined or greased cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350F for about 15 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.
Aside from the chilling time, these cookies come together fairly QUICKly. And here’s the deal: you can freeze the logs for a month, so that you always have cookie dough ready at a moment’s notice! Surprise guests at Christmas time? You’ll be ready with a treat to share in no time at all!
They involve more work than a drop cookie, but they’re still pretty EASY over all. Your friends will be impressed!
Well, pistachios ain’t CHEAP, that’s for sure. I found mine at Trader Joe’s for a pretty good price ($4.99 I think for a package of shelled pistachios, the best price I could find around here). You can also occasionally find coupons for Wonderful Pistachios or Everybody’s Nuts Pistachios on our blog.
These are fairly HEALTHY cookies, as far as cookies go. They’re sweetened with honey, filled with dried fruits and nuts, and a little fiber.
Linking at Tastetastic Thursday, and…