When toasted pistachios bloom in the oven into crisp and tender shortbread pistachio cookies, the only reasonable thing to do is fill it with some Orange Blossom Caramel.
Cookies are a baker’s best friends. Not only they are so easy to make (let’s exclude French Macarons) and comforting but they are also forgiving.
What I mean is that in the scientific world of baking where nothing is taken by a grain of salt, cookies are our saving Grace.
It will stand up to the test of measuring vs. scale. It can handle some extra sugar or less butter and will always have the right texture. (again, let’s exclude French Macarons). Now, if you’re a savvy baker you might disagree with me and you are right to do so. But let’s rewind to the time when our feet did not touch the floor when we sat on the chair. When baking was pure magic and not science. Plus, I feel confident when I say that we did not follow the recipe as we should have. Remember that even then the house smelled like a bakery and the cookies coming out of the oven got all the love and glory we intended them to.
Please note that back then I had the same experiment with a chocolate cake. There was no (cake) love or any (cake) glory.
Don’t you just love baking cookies? (Again, let’s exclude French Macarons. JK, JK, JK).
Shortbread cookies are in a way the “Tofu” of cookies. ONLY because the can soak up any flavor you throw their way. You can see what I mean below as I listed just a few options in addition to pistachio cookies.
Cookie and Filling Variations:
- Replace the pistachios with hazelnut and fill with Hazelnut spread.
- Drop the pistachios and add 2 oz (1/3cup) of melted chocolate, fill with Halva filling. (recipe HERE)
- Use Almonds (or no nuts at all) instead of pistachios, add 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to the flour mix and fill with cookie butter.
- Use poppy seeds instead of pistachios and fill with lemon curd.
- Add walnuts instead of pistachios and rose water instead of Orange blossom.
- Ass 1 tsp of espresso powder to the flout mix. Add 1 tsp espresso powder to the caramel instead of orange blossom.
Now let’s Talk About This Pistachio Orange Blossom Caramel Cookies:
- This recipe calls for a food processor. The reason being that it is the best way to ensure that the butter will be incorporated fully into the dough while creating minimum gluten threads. Hence a tender and crispy cookie.
- The dough might have a sandy, coarse texture and will not come together during processing. That is ok. Bring the dough together with your hands.
- Best to use the cookie-cutter while the dough is cold to prevent it from getting sticky and lose its shape. However, cutting the center for the top cookie might brake the dough if too cold. Here are two options: option one, cut the center first and the cookie around it. Option two, cut the cookie, place in a lined cookie sheet, let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes and cut the center.
- Use the bottom of any piping tip for the center.
- It is very important to use toasted pistachios. Roasting the nuts will help bring out its flavor.
- You can use store-bought caramel. To infuse the Orange blossom simply warm a small amount then add the orange blossom. Last, mix with the remaining caramel.
- If you notice the caramel starts to darken on one part of the pan and not the other, turn the pan around. DO NOT STIR.
- The caramel will thicken at room temperature. Place it in the refrigerator for a thicker consistency.
- The yolks in the recipe makes the cookies more “sturdy” in case you wish to pack and ship.
Here are some more fun cookies recipes you might enjoy:
One more thing…
Don’t forget to tag @OneSarcasticBaker on Instagram if you bake this recipe. Would love to see your creations!
Pistachio Caramel Cookies
- 1/2 Cup Toasted pistachios (56 g / 2 oz)
- 1 2/3 Cup AP Flour (200 g / 7 oz)
- 1 Stick Unsalted butter cold (113 g / 4 oz)
- 1/3 Cup Sugar (65 g / 2.25 oz)
- 1 Large Egg yolk
- 1 TBS Milk
Orange Blossom Caramel
- 1/2 Cup Sugar (100 g / 3.5 oz)
- 2 TBS Water
- 1/8 tsp Cream of tartar
- 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
- 4 TBS Unsalted butter (65 g / 2 oz)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 TBS Orange Blossom Water
To make the cookie dough
In a food processor, place the toasted pistachios and pulse until finely ground.
Add the flour and sugar and pulse for about 15 seconds.
Cut the cold butter into 1/3" cubes then add to the flour mixture. Pulse about 5 times (3 seconds each pulse) or just until the butter has incorporated.
Add the yolk and milk and process to incorporate.
Place the dough on a clean flat surface and bring it together using your hands to form a dough disk.
Place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll into 1/3" thick.
Place in the refrigerator and let cool for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Remove dough from the refrigerator and use 2" flour cookie cutter to cut cookies. Place half of the cookies in the lined cookie pan.
Bake for about 8-10 minutes until the sides of the cookies get a brown golden color.
While the first batch bakes, place the second half in the second lined cookie pan and let the cut cookies soften for 10-15 minutes.
Use 1/4" round cookie cutter to cut the center of now softened cookies.
Remove baked cookies from the oven and place the second pan to bake.
Orange Blossom Caramel
Over the stove, bring heavy cream to a boil.
In a wide and deep pan, place the sugar, cream of tartar and water.
Place over the stove and cook medium-high heat. DO NOT STIR!
The sugar will start to bubble from the sides of the pan towards the middle. If you notice some sugar crystallization on the sides of the pan, brush the sides with a lightly wet pastry brush.
Once the sugar gets a light amber color carefully add the hot cream while stirring with a rubber spatula. (Before adding the cream, if you notice the sugar is getting darker on one side and not the other, turn the pan, but DO NOT STIR!)
Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla extract, stir until completely melted.
Add the Orange Blossom Water, stir to distribute.
Place in a glass container and let cool.
Once the caramel reaches the ideal consistency, spread 1 tsp on a cookie and top it with another cookie.