Saturday, November 26, 2011

Taste of Sweetness Saturday: Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies

Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE HOLIDAYS?  Doesn't matter which one, or why we're celebrating, but themed food is (obviously) something I adore, and it reminds me of my family and happy times together.  My family's big holiday together is Thanksgiving, which makes me cry being 2000 miles away from them on the big day.  My mother's (huge-ish) family all comes together and makes miraculous food!  The one holiday that my mother does in a big bad way, however, is Christmas.  There is cooking and baking galore, parties, get-togethers, and gorge-athons to melt my heart.  My folks are coming to California to join me this year, and I'm so excited.  So... as part of my preparation, I'll be sharing my favorite cookie recipes that I've taken from my mom, from friends, family, random websites, etc., because if there's one thing I love to do during the fall and winter, it's bake!

First up - from my mom - Chocolate Pistachio Thumbprints!  Be forewarned, this recipe takes a sizeable chunk out of your day, but it's extremely worth it in the long run!

Cookie Ingredients:
1/3C Powdered Sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 3 1/2 oz pkg. Instant pistachio pudding mix, 2 C flour, 3/4 C finely chopped nuts, 1 C softened butter, 3/4 tsp almond extract, 1 egg, and 1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips.

To start, heat your oven to 350 and lightly grease your cookie sheets.
Next, cream together the powdered sugar, margarine/butter, vanilla and almond extracts, pudding mix, and egg until well blended.  Then, by hand, stir in flour and chocolate chips until well blended. 
Shape dough into 1 inch balls, and roll in the nuts.  Then, place 2 inches a part on your cookie sheet an place a thumbprint to indent the center of each cookie.  Bake 10-14 minutes, or until the edges start to turn a light golden brown.  Let cool one minute before removing from the cookie sheet.
Filing ingredients: 1 1/2 C powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 T softened margarine/butter, and 1 to 3 T of milk.

As the cookies are cooling, combine all filling ingredients in a small bowl and mix until smooth.  Then, place a scant teaspoonful of the filling into each cooled cookie thumbprint.  Be careful not to overflow!

Glaze ingredients: 1/2 C chocolate chips and 2 tsp shortening.

Melt the glaze ingredients together in the microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat.  Then, drizzle about 1/2 tsp of chocolate glaze over each of your cookies.  Allow your filling and glaze to set completely before storing your cookies, otherwise you'll have to store them side by side, and not stacked with wax paper.

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