Last year, I decided to attend the highly anticipated release of Portland’s Toro Bravo Cookbook release at Powell’s Bookstore. Admittedly, I usually don’t attend many book signings unless a) food is involved and/or b) I admire the author/blogger/chef. This was a combination of the two. Toro Bravo’s (and Tasty ‘n Sons/Alder) genius, John Gorham, was too good to be missed.
After hearing about the background inspiration behind the origination of the restaurants and the book, it was Q&A time with John, his food writer, and the food photographer. Being mostly interested in food photography myself, I naturally couldn’t resist asking a few questions. Meet David Reamer, local food photographer that has already has his works displayed in many well-known publications, books and restaurants. We got to chatting after the book signing and he invited me in on this project he invented, called Catching The Ox.
I was immediately intrigued by the idea of picking a food subject/theme to take photos of, and displaying our interpretations side by side. After many months of pinging back and forth, we finally decided on “cookies”. How hard can that be? Well when you love to bake and have a bazillion cookie recipe ideas, it can be a little tough. But nothing impossible, of course. Initially, the process sounded daunting. The possibilities are endless, and you just have to settle on something, and go with it by the seat of your pants and trust it’ll turn out great no matter what. And did I mention you could only choose one photo? Self-editing… a necessary but sometimes painful process.
Anyway, I had a hankering to use pistachios for some reason, and naturally, dark chocolate is a suitable combination. So I just went with this recipe I found on Pinterest. Since the recipe was in Portuguese and grams, I did a few math conversions and came up with this. Granted, they don’t look *exactly* like the other cookies on her blog, but I was actually really excited with how these turned out, irregular cobblestone shape and all. They definitely allude to a more rustic feel, one that should be paired with milk out of a vintage bottle and a paper straw. Topped with a little fleur de sel, these make the perfect afternoon pick-me-up treat. If my taste tester has anything to prove from it… let’s just say I was only able to eat a little less than half of the dozen of these before they were snatched away.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup ground pistachios
- 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup 60% dark chocolate chips
- ground pistachios, for garnish
- In a large food processor, process the butter and brown sugar.
- Add the egg and egg yolk, processing until combined.
- Add the flour, pistachios, cocoa, baking soda and salt, and process once more. Scrape the sides of the processor.
- Place dough mixture into a medium bowl, and add the chocolate chips. Gently combine until evenly distributed.
- With a sufficient piece of parchment paper, wrap the dough into a round log, about 2.5" in diameter.
- Place in freezer for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut the cookie dough off the log in even pieces, about .8" or so apart, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until slightly browned. They will firm up once taken out of the oven.