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Monday, September 24, 2012

Pistachio Macaroons

Pistachio Macaroons

My Dad loves pistachios, so I made these cookies just for him.
1/2 cup ground almonds/almond meal/almond flour
1/4 cup ground pistachios
1 cup powdered sugar/confectioner's sugar
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup superfine sugar
J cracked open all the nuts for me.  Put about 1 to 1/2 a cup into the food processor to get started.
After a few seconds they are coarse, but not fine.  Set some aside for decorating and for the filling.
Add powdered sugar, almond meal, and 1/4 cup of the pre-processed pistachios in the food processor.
Process for a few more seconds until it looks like a unified powder.
Sift.
Prepare 2 egg whites in a mixing bowl.
Beat on high until soft peaks form.
Continue beating adding 1/4 cup superfine sugar 1 Tbs at a time.
Beat until stiff peaks form.
Optional:  Add a few drops of green food coloring to the beaten egg whites.
The green pistachios do not exude enough green color, so artificial food coloring gives these cookies a distinctive "I'm pistachio flavored because I am green" trade-mark.
Whip the green food coloring in for a few seconds until the egg whites a are uniformly green.
Add 1/3 of the powdered sugar/almond/pistachio sifted dry ingredients and fold into the egg whites.
Repeat with the next 1/3 of powder.  Repeat with the final 1/3 of powder until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
To pipe the cookie dough I use a disposable Wilton plastic piping bag.
To fill the bag I stick it in a large glass, tip at the bottom, and fold the top of the bag around the cup to give me more space for filling.
Then I fill the bag with my cookie dough and flip the top back up.
I cut the tip of the bag off and now I am ready to pipe out some cookies.
I pipe the cookies about 1 - 2 inches wide circles onto parchment paper on top of two sheet pans.  Yes, two sheet pans.  It is supposed to distribute the heat better with macaroons.  Macaroons are finicky like that.
Whatever am I going to do with the tips?!  If I bake them like this the cookies have baked tips and that is not pretty.
I wet my fingers with cold water and push down those little tips until the cookies are smooth.
Then decorate with the coarsely ground pistachios.  Like all finicky macaroons let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes while the over is pre-heating.
Bake at 325 degrees for 10-15 min.  It varies with ovens and elevations.

While the cookies are cooling prepare the pistachio filling.
6 Tbs softened room temperature butter
1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
The rest of the coarsely ground pistachios
Add pistachios, butter, and powdered sugar together.
Whip it and fill another piping bag.

Pipe pistachio frosting onto one cookie and place another one on top making a cookie sandwich.
Now for my favorite part, the eating.  I hear they are supposed to be better the next day, but they never last that long in my house.