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Nut abundance and holiday cookies

14 years ago

Maybe you are harvesting nuts (and eggs?) or maybe the abundance has a different origin (not from your trees). Does it matter? I am blessed with a nut and chocolate abundance and have been making these. I love them since they have zero cholesterol but they sure do not taste like penance food.

These have no flour and are relatively low fat. The only fat comes from the nuts in any case (OK, maybe the chocolate in the hazelnut and almond versions). The original 'inspiring' recipe was for Syrian Seder cookies (which would not allow flour) and I added the citrus and cardamon flavors.

Pistachio cookies:

1 1/2 cups pistachio - grind or pulverize in a grinder or food processor - I use a Corona grain mill, same I use for corn bread, it works very well for making nut flours. Make sure you get flour or meal, not butter (do not over process in other words)

2 - 3 egg whites. Make into meringue using your favorite technique. A wire whisk works, an electric blender works too. I use a wire whisk.

3/4 to 1 cups regular sugar - less for Euro taste, more for American taste.

6 cardamon pod seeds, ground up or equivalent amount in powder.

grated rind of 2 key or mexican limes. OK, use any fresh lime/lemon you have. I have used Meyers lemon rid and it is also yummy.

Rice wafer paper or any baking edible paper. This is very important. Makes pan clean up very easy too.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Beat egg whites until stiff, mix sugar into egg whites (a little at a time), add ground pistachios, folding them into the meringue. Add cardamon and grated lime rind.

Drop a tbsp at a time in parchment paper or rice paper wafers. Leave enough room around there because they will flatten. I cannot tell you how long these take, 10 to 15 minutes? Watch them often. Some folks like them crispier, others chewier.


Hazlenuts. Grind 1 1/2 cups hazelnuts to make hazelnut flour. Make them just like described above, but omit the citrus rind and cardamom. Melt some chocolate in double boiler. After cookies come out of the oven, go all Jackson Pollock and drizzle/spread/pour chocolate on cookie tops. Leave the rice paper there to protect the pan and counter from your art work. When they are cool enough, break them apart and set them in tray/box, they will look very pretty with the chocolate drizzles. They will disappear fast too.

Almonds. Here I have the blue diamond cans (2 of them) with 3 lbs slivered toasted almonds. So make the almond meal again, beat your egg whites and sugar. Bake as directed, on the baking paper. While they cool down, start melting some chocolate in your double boiler. Now 'paint' or drizzle some liquid caramel sauce on top of the cookies. When they are cold, hold the cookies by the paper part and dip into the molten chocolate, until the whole face of the cookie is covered in molten chocolate. Before it hardens, place a few almond slivers decoratively on top of chocolate layer. It looks so pretty!

Note on liquid caramel sauce: I just got this for free, had no idea what to do with it, never knew such product existed. I love it in these almond cookies! However, they are fine without it too.

So what do your folks do with your nut abundance? or chocolate abundance? or both?

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