Monday, September 22, 2008
Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting Mary Ann's blog: Meet Me In The Kitchen. She had posted some amazing looking Cherry Pistachio Wedding Cookies. One look at them and I knew I had to try them.
I had to tweak her recipe a bit for my dietary requirements and some other items which were missing in action in my pantry. I chose to make mine with dried cranberries instead of the cherries. I also decided to experiment with replacing 2 of the 8 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of canola oil instead. I still left plenty of butter for the rich taste and texture it provides. I used raw pistachios instead of salted ones. Finally, since the cookies are coated with powdered sugar, I reduced the sugar in the cookie batter to half a cup. These little gems were a big hit for dessert. My kids loved them. Thank you for the inspiration Mary Ann!
They were a lot of fun to make and so easy. It all happens pretty much in the food processor and then it's like a day at the beach... You get to fill a tablespoon measurer with the sandy dough, pack it in tight and invert it onto a cookie sheet. I was alone at home when I made them, a rare thing in itself, and I was reminded of the many summers of my childhood.
I grew up in Nice, France, where most of the beaches are covered with smooth stones. My family use to drive on the weekends to a place outside of Nice called: "Passable". It was a cove, where the beach was filled with sand. We would spend all day, picnicking, swimming, and making sandcastles with our little buckets. We would pack in the wet sand firmly, because experience had taught us that if we didn't the tower would crumble. Making those lovely cookies is exactly like that. You get a treat and a trip down memory lane all in one.
Gluten Free Cranberry Pistachio Wedding Cookies (makes 32 small but delicious cookies)
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
2/3 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xantham gum
2 tablespoons canola oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
1/2 tablespoon GF vanilla extract
3 teaspoons ice water
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup of finely chopped raw pistachios
1/2 cup powdered sugar, to coat cookies
Preheat oven 350F
Oil a cookie sheet.
Combine all the flours, 1/2 cup of sugar, cornstarch, salt, and xantham gum in the bowl of the food processor and blend together.
Slowly drizzle the oil into the food processor and pulse to combine. Then continue adding the butter pieces little by little, until you obtain a small crumb. Use a spatula to scrape the sides and make sure the butter is evenly distributed.
Add the water and ice water and process until well combined, scraping sides again as needed.
Add the cranberries and pistachios and process for 20 more seconds or so. Carefully, remove blade from bowl.
Using a round tablespoon measurer, scoop the crumbly mixture into the spoon and press hard to obtain a compact little patty (this is where your sandcastle building skills come in handy). Gently slide the patty out of the spoon and onto the prepared cookie sheet. Continue this step until you have used up all the cookie crumb mixture.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are slightly golden. Remove and let cool on the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes.
Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar into a bowl. Toss the cookies gently to coat with the sugar, return to cookie sheet and let cool completely.
Hungry for more cookies? Here's another favorite...
Lebanese Walnut Cookies