Who has 12,485 cookbooks? *raises hand* THIS GIRL. Who uses them? *crickets*
Oy to the vey, I'm so bad!! I have a ton of cookbooks and while I find a lot of inspiration in them, I rarely crack one open to try a new recipe. I go to the cracked out, ratings ridden internets. Yack! Where's the charm?! The romance?! What happened to those books you found in the days of yore?
A dusty old book you’d find at a flea market or garage sale… and a promise to yourself to start cooking authentic Chinese cuisine. (Ha! The book doesn’t have pictures, who are we kidding).
Or the cookbooks your grandmother gave you… Mine never did but here’s hoping you have romantic stories of talking baked goods with grandma. Mine watched a lot of golf and Wheel of Fortune. “Bogey, bogey, par, par, son…” is all I can say about that.
And then what about those special treat brand new cookbooks with the hardcovers you purchased just for you? Like Liz buying a lace teddy just for her in Eat, Pray, Love… you bought this cookbook in some kind of intimate act that no one needed to know about. You just know that it fulfills YOU. Those ones are my favorite. And for the love of God, I’ve got millions!
So here’s my new goal, friends. To share some recipes out of these amazing cookbooks in hopes that A) in 460 years, I’ll get some of the bang back from my buck- ha! and B) that I will have learned something new and inspired myself to try new flavors, skill-sets or techniques when developing recipes or C) to just find some more winners for the home collection!
So for this blog, I made some Hazelnut Pistachio Slices out of ‘Payard Cookies,’ by Francois Payard with Anne E. McBride. I chose this recipe because I had pistachios on hand which never happens and I LOOOOVE pistachios!!! (And hazelnuts? I see you!!) Also because I thoroughly enjoy little ‘dipper’ cookies.
They’re not only small and cute but ‘dipper cookies’ are a perfect little bite with coffee or tea. They usually have a nice shelf life which I appreciate so you have something to serve when you have guests or when ‘neighbors call.’ (I’m not sure who has neighbors that ‘call’ anymore but I wish we still lived in that time…oh, the poundcakes and southern accent I would have on hand…)
The great thing about this recipe is that they make about a 100 small cookies, which is awesome! I thought they would be like buttery shortbread but instead they are more like a nutty biscotti. I’m cool with this because a good ‘dipper’ has to hold up to some moisture! I chose to dip mine in bittersweet chocolate because they look even more adorable and I love chocolate dipped anything. Yay!
Then I tried to find some good light in this incredibly dark house we rent- ha! I find the washer works best. Ya gotta do what you gotta do… :)
Anyway, give this recipe a try and be sure to share it with your friends! And if you like what you’re reading, be sure to subscribe to the blog and follow the fun over on instagram: @ashevillecarnelian and @mandicrockersweets. Happy Baking, neighbors!
HAZELNUT PISTACHIO SLICES RECIPE
A crunchy almost biscotti-like sliced cookie filled with pistachios and hazelnuts. The perfect 'dipper' for coffee or tea!
INGREDIENTS: 2 c. minus 2 T flour (250 grams)
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
4 1/2 T butter, room temp (65 grams)
3/4 c. light brown sugar (150 grams)
3 T water
2/3 cup hazelnuts, finely chopped (90 grams)
1/4 cup pistachios, finely chopped (30 grams)
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 c. bittersweet or milk chocolate chips, melted for dipping (optional)
1/4 c. ground nuts for decorating (optional)
INSTRUCTION: In a large bowl sift flour, baking soda and salt.
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter, brown sugar and water, whisking until everything is melted and slightly hot.
Pour the melted mixture over the dry ingredients.
Stir in nuts and zest, mixing completely. Let cool to room temp.
Roll the dough out into a 1 inch thick square. Height and width should be about 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours (or preferably overnight)
Preheat the oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
Take out dough and cut into one inch strips
.Cut each strip into 20 slices. (They will be small and fairly thin).
Pop them into the freezer (if you can) for another 15 minutes to firm up again.
Bake for about ten minutes, or until bottoms turn a light brown.
Let cool completely and you can keep them in air tight container for two weeks.
**If you want to dip in chocolate, microwave chips in 30 second intervals in a small microwave safe bowl until smooth. Dip at a horizontal, brush remainder of chocolate of the side of the cookie and place on parchment paper. Sprinkle with ground nuts. Allow to set completely.
By Francois Payard