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Joe Yonan's recipe for Pistachio Butter Cookies

Earlier last week I came home and found a thick envelope sitting by my door. I impatiently opened the envelop and found a copy of Joe Yonan's Serve Yourself cookbook for my review from Ten Speed press.

I sat on my couch and turned the pages of the book, marveling at the gorgeous photographs by Ed Anderson and trying to figure out what I'd like to cook from it over the weekend with my friend Wendy.

As a side note, let me tell you that I agree with Joe's philosophy on cooking 110%. Just because you live by yourself and don't have the company of a significant other, a parent, a child or a roommate, does not mean that you should not treat yourself to home-cooked meals. Cooking for one is not selfish: it's necessary to take care of yourself, let your creativity flow, and have fun in the kitchen. After all, you are able to cook whatever it is you want without having to listen to the peanut gallery.

After some thought, I decided to bake Pistachio Butter Cookies. Pistachios are some of my favorite nuts, and the ingredient list was straight forward: all I had to buy were pistachios and plastic wrap. I will copy the ingredient list below and summarize the instructions. Wendy and I doubled the recipe. We were cooking for 2 ;)

Pistachio Butter Cookies (page 154)

3/4 cup shelled, roasted, and salted pistachios
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1. In a food processor grind 1/2 cup of the pistachios. While the motor is running, pour in 1-2 tablespoons of oil until you have pistachio paste/butter. Scrape the pistachio butter into a bowl.

2. Beat the unsalted butter and brown sugar together in a bowl {either use a hand mixer or a stand mixer} until very smooth. Add in the egg yolk and vanilla. Blend well, scraping the sides of a bowl. Add the pistachio butter and use a hand mixer to maker sure everything is well incorporated.

3. Add in whisked flour and baking soda. {Thank you, Rachel for pointing out I missed this step!}

4. Coarsely chop the remaining 1/4 cups of pistachios and add to the cookie dough.

5. Divide the dough into two. Using plastic wrap, form a 7 inch log from each half of the dough, wrap it tightly, twisting both ends of the plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut each cookie dough log into 1/2" pieces and place them 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes. {Joe recommends underbaking the cookies.}

7. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack.

You can freeze the dough for up to 3 months and then bake the cookies directly from the freezer for 15-20 minutes.

These were incredibly easy to make. They smelled delicious and tasted even better. The only difference I'd make would be to add a pinch of salt to the cookie dough and increase the amount of coarsely chopped pistachios.
Reprinted with permission from Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One by Joe Yonan copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.


Maris (In Good Taste) said...

These look absolutely amazing! This is a gourmet treat!

Delicious Dishings said...

Sounds like a great first recipe! I have no doubt you'll be cooking many more recipes from that book. I can't wait to try some of them myself.

Sunanda said...

Cookies look perfect.. lovely recipe.

Cecilia said...

I love the concept of the book. The cookies look amazing, I may have to give this recipe a try, love pistachios!

Jamie said...

These are such pretty cookies! And I am a pistachio fanatic! Gotta try these. The book sounds great! I know that baking is my therapy, it soothes me, helps me calm down and think. I want to read this book!

MJ said...

Yes! Treat yourself well is my motto! Take care of mama. I bet these cookies would freeze well, too. (So, you know, one person maybe won't be tempted to eat them all at once.)

Meister @ The Nervous Cook said...

Those are lovely! I have been so enjoying "Serve Yourself" -- and the best thing is that not only do I get to enjoy the recipes when I'm eating alone, but they're all easy to double for when I'm cooking for my squeeze, as well!

Simply Life said...

wow! what a clever cookie idea! they're so cute!

Leslie said...

How very cool. The color of the dough is soooo vibrant. I remember when I was little my Da always used to eat those red pistachios!

K said...

Your cookies look great!

Esi said...

I need to get this book. Keep seeing so many great recipes from it.

Anonymous said...

This cookbook sounds awesome. Cooking for one is fun and there is infinite room for creativity. I'm bookmarking this recipe : )

Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray said...

These look great! Did you shell all those pistachios yourself too?

Erin said...

Yum! These look delicious. Definitely bookmarking them.

Beth @ Kitchen Minions said...

I love his cookbook, II need to make these :)

nicole said...

what an interesting concept for a cookbook! i'd love to look it over -- often times i cook for one even though I live with someone because they dont want to eat what I'm making!

Rachel said...

fyi--I think you leave out the flour and the baking soda in the instructions!
Thanks for the recipe--I'll let you know how it turns out (though I'm going for "crisps" rather than cookies, since I forgot the baking soda...)

Guest said...

Question for conversion. What if you already have pistachio butter? How much of it would you use?

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

Good question! I'm honestly not sure. Maybe the amount of butter plus half the amount of nuts? Experiment and let me know :)
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Subject: [mangotomato] Re:

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

I asked Joe Yonan your question. Here's what he said: " I havent tested this way, so amounts could vary, but they could try 1/3 cup of the butter. (plus the 1/4 cup chopped nuts.)"

discojing said...

These look great & festive for the season - I'm thinking of adding cranberries in there too!

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

Do it! :)