Is it weird that I’m super into pistachios?
Pistachios are not trendy. They are not “having a moment.” They are not on anyone’s pop culture radar. Bacon? Bacon is still the foodie’s darling. Salted caramel is still going strong. Macarons are the new cupcake, and cupcakes are the old cupcake, which is to say: still popular. But pistachios? Nobody is showing the pistachio any love except me.
Fortunately, I have pistachio love to spare.
Random food trend tidbit: Let it be known that I predicted the rise of the retro dessert craze way back in 2009.You’re probably thinking I’m some kind of genius, and you’re not wrong. But I also predicted that the black and white cookie would explode, which it really hasn’t done…so I guess I’m only genius-adjacent. Or else 2013 will be the year of the black and white cookie. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST.
But enough about me, let’s get back to the humble pistachio. I think this neglected nut is the perfect companion to these brownie-like chocolate cookies. They’re rich and fudgy, with pockets of melted dark chocolate chunks. They need to be paired with something that’s strong enough to balance our all that gooey chocolate, but won’t overpower it or fight with the flavor. Cue the pistachio’s entrance.
Pistachios actually appear in two ways in this cookie: as chunks in the cookies themselves, and as flavoring for the fluffy buttercream. That buttercream, by the way, is my dirty little secret. I was originally going to use pistachio paste to color and flavor it, but I was concerned about using a specialty ingredient that’s a bit uncommon and difficult to track down.
So instead, I used pistachio pudding mix to make the buttercream. Forgive me, food snobs, for I have sinned…but the pudding mix actually works really well! The buttercream is light and smooth, with a lovely pale green color and a vibrant pistachio taste. Scoff all you want, but it’s exactly what these cookies needed.
Finish them off with a coating of chopped salted pistachios around the edges, and you have a dessert that can compete against a bacon-salted caramel-macaron-topped cupcake anytime.
Black and white cookie, I’m coming for you next.
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