Monday, January 23, 2012

Pistachio-orange-cardamom shortbread bars


I know that everyone is trying to eat better now that the holidays are over... And, while I am trying to do the same, I do miss having cookies. I marked the pistachio shortbread in Cook This Now (one of my Christmas gifts) the day after Christmas and then wondered how long I would need to wait to make them... I waited a few weeks and then figured that my birthday week is as good as any other! Plus, I've been buying up so much beautiful citrus lately and I really wanted to incorporate orange into these cookies.

These cookies come together in a snap. They are so buttery and flaky and have an exotic scent and spice to them. I was inspired by the recipe in the book, but swapped out the orange water blossom water for orange juice and zest. Oh, and I also added the cardamom, reduced the sugar, and replaced some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour. I think they turned out great and I'm inspired to try all kinds of shortbread now. I always make my rosemary one at the holidays, I've tried one with matcha tea, and I think next up is a savory lemon and thyme shortbread. One note is that your food processor needs to be pretty large to use it for this recipe. It just fit in mine. If it won't fit, use it for the first step and then transfer it to a large bowl and cut in the butter and orange juice.

Pistachio-orange-cardamom shortbread bars
1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup superfine/fine unbleached granulated sugar
1/2 cup pistachios
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed orange juice
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1-2 teaspoons coarse turbinado sugar, optional

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Add the flour, sugar, pistachios, salt, cardamom, and orange zest into a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are finely chopped. Pulse in the orange juice and butter until the dough starts to come together and begins forming a ball.

Press the dough evenly and firmly into a 7x11-inch baking dish. Prick it all over with a fork. Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar, if using. Bake until it just begins to turn golden, about 35-40 minutes.

Let cool for about 10 minutes and then slice into squares while it is still warm. Store in an airtight container.


What was I cooking one year ago?: cashew chicken korma
Two years ago?: French onion soup

23 comments:

  1. Love these shortbreads look amazing!!

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  2. What a wonderful combination of flavors! They look fantastic! Glad to find your blog! :)

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  3. Dear Amy, I miss the goodies of the holidays too!! These cookies sound like a perfect partner for a cup of tea. Delicious. Blessings my dear, Catherine xo

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  4. Shortbread cookies are my sisters favorite and just what I need to bake for her on her upcoming visit. Love your using pistachios!

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  5. I just made biscotti with cardamom! I'll have to try this pistachio, orange and cardamom combo next time.

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  6. Great flavor combination here, the citrus is beautiful and tasty this time of year isn't it. I love pistachio nuts too, I like using pastry wheat flour in my baking too makes me feel like it's healthier.

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  7. This looks like a delicious twist on shortbread. So yummy!

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  8. Yum! I love pistachios and cardamom. I wonder how they are together. I'll definitely have to give it a try, thank you :D

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  9. These sound fantastic! I love the flavor combinations, too! I really want to try these!

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  10. Love the flavors you incorporated into these! I bet they smell amazing and taste even better!

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  11. Wow, the flavors of this bars are great...orange, pistachio and cardamon...have to give this a try Amy.
    Hope you are having a fantastic week :-)

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  12. Happy birthday! I love anything with cardamon in it! These bars look delicious!

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  13. Try as though I might, there is NO way I could go even a week without baking so I'm impressed with your efforts. But a birthday week absolutely REQUIRES baked goods! These bars sound amazing! Love this exotic flavor combo.

    happy birthday!

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  14. I love the flavor combination in your shortbread recipe. They would be lovely with a cup of tea in the afternoon.

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  15. These look lovely and include some of my favorites (cardamom, orange, and pistachio)!

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  16. A birthdate requires cookies. These look like a true treat.

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  17. I love pistachios so I am sure these little treats would become a favorite of mine! I am on diet right now so by looking them I realize how much I miss sweets!

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  18. These sounds so good with the pistachios! I'm always on the look-out for baked treats with pistachios. This is one I need to try.

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  19. i never taste a combination of pistachio and orange, but the way they look i think she got a great and unic taste and aroma, got to try it ;)

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