Cookies, more cookies

Okay – food trends like any trends do make a full circle as people’s tastes change and they seek an alternative to the influx of the current trend, face it we, humans (at least most of us) do get bored easily when we 1) have had too much of a good thing or 2)  seek excitement in discovering a new  thing. 

So what is next in the realm of desserts?  We have had modernistic funky ganache cakes, fusion cakes, cupcakes craze and mad about what else can truly be next? What is the other that has not been made a craze yet? Well, I am banking on cookies or biscuits depending on your English leanings.

On a personal note though, I sometimes do enjoy a cookie more than a slice of cake, especially when I have had too much to eat already and can’t stuff myself anymore. But I am a creature of habit and after a good meal, I must have a sweet ending. So the cookie satisfies the sweet craving I have minus the guilt (only if I eat one or two with my coffee or tea. It is a whole different matter if I decide to consume the entire jar..)

Cookies besides being tasty, they can be dressed up to look really pretty and on a practical side, easy to store and portable! Quite the perfect gift too during festive seasons. I supposed they have been overlooked because they were not considered as glamourous as a cupcake or a macaron, nevertheless they have been a mainstay in many households whether store bought or home baked. The time has come for them to be showcased as an exciting piece of dessert as her other cousins.

I have stuck to certain cookies, like oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies because of the fool proof recipes I have inherited. So one day I decided to go out and get myself a  copy of The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion – after many hours of careful consideration (value for money too) comparing it with other known cookie book authors like Martha Stewart, Carol Walter  and Maida Heatter.

Although it is a quintessential American cookie book, a few traditional European cookies like mandelbrot and stroopwaffel were also included.

Wanting to venture out of the comfort realm of oatmeal cookies and choc chip – it was toss up between lavender cookies or pistachio. Pistachio won hands down , due to an unfair advantage – my husband’s fondness of all things pistachios (or chocolates) convinced that was a better cookie to make and more likely he will consume them.

I took the ‘essential sugar cookie – crunchy’ recipe from King Arthur, added the ground pistachio and sprinkled rose water and rose petals, thus adding my own creative streak to it. Voila, pistachio cookies.

Pistachio cookies with rose petals

  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 4 tbp butter (1/2 stick)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp rose essence OR  1 tsp + 1/2 tsp of rosewater
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 heaping tsp of salt
  • 2 cups of ground pistachios
  • 3-4 dried rosebuds – petals for decoration

Preheat oven to 160 C degrees. Lightly grease or line with parchment paper 2 baking trays

In a large mixing bowl , cream the shortening ,the butter and sugar until smooth. In a cup, mix the milk, vinegar and rose essence (or rose water)  add this to the butter mixture. Beating until well combined. the mixture may look curdle, it is ok.

Add the nutmeg, flour, salt, baking soda and beat until dough is cohesive, pour in the ground pistachio and mix well.

With a teaspoon or tablespoon, depending what size you like your cookies to be, scoop the dough  up and roll it into a ball . Place a rose petal on the top and press it down slightly. Using a bottom of a glass , dipped it in sugar (granulated – coarse grain) and flatten the balls to 1/4 inch thick.

Bake it for 20 minutes or light golden colour. Remove from oven and transfer to a rack to cool. Store it in an airtight container when cool completely.

They are in fact very good with a glass of cold milk.

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