It’s no lie I love pistachios and rosewater. Especially when paired together. The perfect complimentary combo, especially with cardamom. Classic Indian flavors can go a long way in transporting traditional baking recipes to the next level and beyond.
When I discovered Beth’s recipe for Chocolate-Dipped Pistachio Shortbread, and that her inspiration and original recipe she tweaked came from the Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book, I knew I had to buy it immediately. And of course, put my own spin on things. Enter in the rosewater and cardamom parts. I have never made shortbread like this before, so I didn’t want to go too crazy wild on tweaking any major ingredients. I’d say the trickiest part is understanding how to fit the dough in a springform pan with a removable bottom. Basically you take the bottom out of the collar and set it aside. With the pan locked, you place it on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The idea is that the metal round keeps the cookies contained and not expanding into a pile of unidentifiable cookie dough. More on that later.
The rosewater was the only snafu I encountered halfway through. I added it to the melted chocolate and it immediately “curdled” and dried up. SUPER SAD FACE. Especially after melting 10 ounces of that good stuff. Wah wah. Should’ve known/gut feeling’s are always right. SO, after some hemming and hawing, I decided to keep the melted goodness pure on it’s own, dipped the shortbread in it, and then sprinkled several drops of rosewater on the chocolate part of the cookie. PROBLEM SOLVED. And it was fun sprinkling every other cookie with pistachios and pink himalayan sea salt. I loved each one equally, but the salt was an fancy awesome extra touch. Did I talk about how good these are yet? No, because I’m completely exhausted from a long (but super fun) week so please don’t take that as a lack of my enthusiasm. THESE ARE FREAKING AMAZING. I was in awe how good they turned out and how relatively simple they were to make. They’re pretty much like a softer biscotti, since they’re dipped in chocolate and all, and I don’t consider biscotti biscotti unless it’s dipped in a whole hell of a lot of chocolate goodness. Adding in the cardamom, rosewater and salt was the perfect touch. I could not. stop. eating these. So fun! These would be the perfect picnic cookie treat. Jus sayin. Maybe next time some saffron? And lemon?
ROSEWATER CHOCOLATE PISTACHIO SHORTBREAD COOKIES
Makes 16 cookies, including one round in the center
- 1/2 cup gluten-free oats
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
- 10 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
- rosewater for extra sprinkling
- pink himalayan sea salt for sprinkling
- extra chopped pistachios for sprinkling
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees F. Pulse oats and pistachios in a food processor until reduced to a fine powder. In a large bowl, mix oat-pistachio flour, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, sugar, cardamom and salt with a spoon until well combined. Cut in the butter to dry ingredients with a pastry butter cutter/dough blender (like the kind they use to make biscuits and pies) and continue to mix until dough just forms and pulls away from sides of bowl, 5-10 minutes. I had to add several tablespoons of cold water to make it more pliable, otherwise it was too dry and would never come together in a million years.
- Place upside-down (grooved edge should be at top) collar of a 9- or 91/2-inch springform pan on parchment paper-lined baking sheet (do not use springform pan bottom). Press dough into collar in even 1/2-inch-thick layer, smoothing top of dough with your fingers. Place a 2-inch biscuit cutter in center of dough (I just placed a 2″ cup in the center and cut around it with a butter knife) and cut out center. Place extracted round alongside springform collar on baking sheet. Open springform collar, but leave it in place.
- Bake shortbread for 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F. Continue to bake until edges turn pale golden, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Remove baking sheet from oven; turn oven off. Remove springform pan collar; use chef’s knife to score surface of shortbread into 16 even wedges, cutting halfway through shortbread. Using a fork or skewer, poke about 10 holes in each wedge. Return shortbread to oven and prop door open with handle of wooden spoon, leaving 1-inch gap at top. Allow shortbread to dry in turned off oven until pale golden in center (shortbread should be firm but giving to touch), about 1 hour.
- Transfer sheet to wire rack; let shortbread cool to room temperature. Cut shortbread at scored marks to separate.
- Melt the 10 oz of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate in a small-medium saucepan over low-medium heat, stirring chocolate and continuing heating until melted. Carefully dip base of each wedge in chocolate, allowing chocolate to come halfway up cookie. Scrape off excess with your finger and place on parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with rosewater, pistachios and/or pink sea salt. Refrigerate until chocolate sets, about 15 minutes.