Ok, now that you’ve endured weeks of healthful meals from me, I thought I would reward you with some cookies.
These crumbly sables combine salty pistachios and tart cranberries which just happen to pair perfectly with the sweet, buttery cookies. Oh, and then I rolled them in big chunks of decorative sugar for some sparkle and crunch. Because who doesn’t love sparkles – especially when you can eat them and be sparkly on the inside! (It IS what’s inside that counts, right?)
I first made these cookies around the holidays and tucked them away into the freezer so they would be ready for when the holidays rolled around. I had every intention of sending them out with my Christmas cookies but there were… technical difficulties.
Mostly that I ate them.
And while, yes, the red berries and pale green pistachios were super cute when I first made these for Christmas cookies, no one will complain about consuming them during a non-Christmas time of year. Not to mention they are ice-box cookies, which means even if you make them around the holidays and stuff them (tightly-wrapped) in the freezer, they will still be every bit as delicious once July rolls around…
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
- 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
- 1/3 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup decorative sugar (preferably coarse)
- In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, and orange zest at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add flour mixture in 2 batches and mix on low, just until the dough comes together in clumps, then add pistachios and cranberries. Mix just a few moments longer to combine.
- Pour dough onto a lightly-floured surface and press together into a single mass. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces, then form each half of dough into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until very firm, at least 2 hours. (Or you can freeze the logs until you are ready to bake them)
- If from frozen, let cookies set out about 30 minutes. If from refrigerated, no need to let them sit.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350F. If baking both sheets at once, put racks in upper and lower third of oven, if only baking one at a time you can leave the rack in the middle.
- Beat the egg and pour sugar into a shallow dish long enough to roll the log in (I used a paper plate).
- Brush egg over all 4 long sides of bars (but not ends) and press bars into sugar, coating well.
- Cut each bar crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices, rotating bar after cutting each slice to help keep square shape. (It may be crumbly, just smoosh the cookies back together).
- Arrange cookies about 1/2 inch apart on lined baking sheets and bake until edges are pale golden, 15 to 18 minutes total.
Recipe source: Gourmet, December 2006