December 15, 2011

Chocolate-Pistachio Trees

I know it's been a while since the last entry on this blog.  Thanks to all those who've continued to visit, comment, and like on Facebook.  I really appreciate the support and encouragement.  I haven't been able to devote as much time to the blog as I'd like, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share these delightful cookies with you.

I participated in a cookie exchange with 9 other moms at my son's preschool.  Had I known I had to make 5 dozen cookies beforehand, I may not have participated!  But it was well worth the effort and the cookies were fairly easy to make.  The hardest part was shelling the pistachios!  I should've bought the package of shelled pistachios but they cost more and I was trying to save money instead of time (which is often a huge mistake and something I have yet to learn).

The initial product went from looking like crap (quite literally):
Though not appetizing to look at, it smells delightful.

To a beautiful presentation of lovely chocolate trees:

Now that's more like it.  :)

I was actually disappointed the cookie didn't come out crispy or crunchy as I had expected.  It was a softer cookie, but my husband and boys loved it.  The cookie itself also wasn't very sweet, but the melted chocolate added just the right amount of sweetness along with a nice added crunch from the pistachios.

Hope you enjoy, too!  I'd love to hear what some of your favorite holiday cookies are.  Maybe I'll try those out for next year's cookie exchange.

And just in case I don't get around to another post this year,

Christmas and 
Happy New Year to all!  
Hope this holiday season is filled 
and brimming with life's greatest joys.
 From family to friends and loved ones far and
near.  From feasts to sweets and everything delightful
in between.   From angels singing to wise men bowing and
all of earth rejoicing.  May the Lord bless you & your loved
ones this

Chocolate-Pistachio Trees
From Better Homes & Gardens

{Prep time: 60 minutes, Chill time:  30 minutes, Bake:  9 minutes per batch, Makes:  about 48 cookies}

1 cup butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, beaten
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup finely chopped pistachio nuts
1 tablespoon shortening
½ cup ground pistachio nuts

To prepare the pistachios for this recipe, place 2 cups whole shelled pistachios in a food processor.  Pulse several times until the nuts are finely chopped.  Remove the ¾ cup to be used in the dough.  Continue pulsing the remaining nuts until finely grounded to use for garnish.

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine butter and brown sugar; heat and stir over low heat until butter is melted.  Remove saucepan from heat; stir in vanilla.  Cool mixture for 15 minutes.  Stir in egg, flour, and cocoa powder until mixture is combined.  Stir in the 3/4 cup pistachio nuts.  Divide dough in half.  Cover and chill about 30 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  On a lightly floured surface, roll dough, half at a time, to a 1/4-inch thickness.  Using a tree-shape cookie cutter, cut out cookies.  Place cookies 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake in preheated oven about 9 minutes or until edges are firm. Transfer to a wire rack; cool.
  4. In a heavy small saucepan, combine chocolate pieces and shortening; heat and stir over low heat until chocolate melts. Remove from heat.  Dip one-third of each cookie into chocolate mixture; roll edges of cookie in ground pistachio nuts.   Makes about 48 cookies.

StorageLayer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.


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