Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hmm... well they may not look right, but the cookies still taste good!

We've had pretty good success with the treats that I've been making for the Weekly Wednesday Treat Day. I don't know if today's round of baking would fit into that category though... while these cookies taste good, they don't have near the appearance that we were expecting.

I'm not certain if it was my error (though I did double check everything), an omission in the ingredient list or even a step lost in the directions, but these Pistachio Butter Cookies were not supposed to bake into these flatter disks. Once the dough has been made, it is placed in a pastry bag (be sure to use a heavy duty one as the dough is quite thick) and the recipe calls to pipe them out into rosettes with a star tip. I thought the texture of the dough was similar to a spritz-type recipe, but it was a bit more soft and sticky. Even though I was able to pipe them out fairly well, they completely lost their shape while baking as you can see (yes I was working with cold baking sheets too). Maybe a rest in the refrigerator for a couple hours would have made a difference before baking, but it was not called for.

With a generous amount of ground raw pistachios in the dough, the golden baked cookies have the slightest green tinge and do have a rich nutty flavor. They are delicate, buttery and soft, but not cake-like - these cookies like to slowly melt in your mouth as you nibble on them. So while mine could use some help in the visual department, at least they still had good flavor.

*Tip - When you go to grind the pistachios, add a tablespoon or so of the sugar from the recipe to help absorb any of the oils released so it doesn't begin to turn into a nut butter.

Fresh, glossy and slightly sweet, the sauce for tonight's dinner totally made this recipe for Hoisin Pork and Snow Pea Stir-Fry a hit. Thinly sliced pork tenderloin is tossed with salty soy sauce while you wait for the skillet to heat up. To begin cooking, the pork is quickly sautéed in robust toasted sesame oil - I would split this up and do this in two batches if we made this again. Even though I used a fairly large skillet, I thought the pan was too full to cook the strips evenly. To not over-cook the tender pork, the strips are removed to a plate while a few more drops of oil, crunchy snow peas, sweet red bell peppers, fresh ginger and minced garlic are added to the skillet. The delicious sauce made from broth, hoisin sauce, cornstarch and honey is added to the skillet, along with the pork and its juices, to thicken up and thoroughly coat the pork and vegetables. To serve, we portioned the mixture over floral and nutty brown jasmine rice since there was a generous amount of sauce to soak up. Even if I don't make this exact recipe again, this sauce will be repeated - I'll even admit to licking up the few remaining drops on the plate!


  1. Dinner looks delicious - it's been ages since I made a stirfry.

  2. The cookies look wonderful. If you don't tell anyone they are a wee bit flatter than they are supposed to be, no one will be the wiser. Cheers!

  3. Mmm. That looks realllly good.

  4. Cate - Thanks!

    Almost Veg - I suppose... but I still would have liked them to retain their shape!

    Tanya - Thanks!