Some specialty or natural foods stores carry shelled pistachios in bulk, which makes cooking with them cheaper and easier on the fingers than having to shell them at home.
- For Cookies:
- 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup ground pistachios, almonds or pecans
- For Filling:
- 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR COOKIES: In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter or margarine with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and nutmeg; beat till combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Divide the dough in half. Cover and chill for 30 minutes, or till the dough is firm. Shape the dough into two 8-inch rolls. Roll in ground pistachios, almonds or pecans to coat. Wrap the dough in waxed paper or plastic wrap, and chill for 2 hours, or till firm.
FOR FILLING: In a bowl, beat the butter or margarine till fluffy. Beat in the cocoa powder. Gradually add 1 cup of the powdered sugar, beating well. Slowly beat in the milk and vanilla. Gradually beat in the remaining powdered sugar. Beat in additional milk, if needed, to make the filling spreadable.
Cut the dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or till the edges are firm. Remove the cookies from the pans and cool on a rack.
Spread 1 to 2 teaspoons of the filling on half the cookies; top with the remaining cookies to form a sandwich.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
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