*** GIVEAWAY CLOSED ***
I'm giddy with excitement this time of the year when holiday season is in full ramp-up mode! It's my favorite. I love that the season is about giving to others. While I don't condone frivolous over-consumption (which is admittedly a huge downside associated with the holidays), I really enjoy putting careful thought into the gifts that I am giving to the special people in my life. There's a dizzying joy and smug satisfaction when I just know I've found the perfect gift for someone.
I'm still giving myself pats on the back for the Aesop hydrating cream for my mom / sister, and the fold-able (brilliant!) vegetable spiralizer for my brother-in-law last year. We won't talk about the socks I gifted my dad tho - he's a hard one to buy for!
You know what else I'm giddy about? THIS GIVEAWAY !! I teamed up with the ever lovely Louise of DRØM pepper to create this amazing holiday cookie recipe for you featuring their very special, organic, single-origin red peppercorns from Cambodia AND to give away one pair of these stunning grinders in Ash-Carbon to one lucky winner! You have until Thursday, December 14, 5PM EST to enter over on my Instagram @saltnpepperhere! Open to US and Canada residents. Full giveaway terms and conditions are outlined here.
*** GIVEAWAY CLOSED *** ONE WINNER will be announced via my Instagram and contacted by Instagram Direct Message on Friday, December 8, 2017 12 PM EST.
Are they not the most gorgeous? The ceramic grinders are appropriate for both peppercorns and salt. They are cleverly designed with an inverse mill/dispenser so the pepper (or salt) comes out of the top rather than the bottom - no debris on the table! You can read more about the grinders here.
Meanwhile, let me give you fair warning about the addictive nature of these cookies. I kept eating the cookie props throughout the shoot - I couldn't help it! The smell alone was torture. Have you ever baked with pistachio flour before? You simply grind up whole pistachios in the food processor (voila, pistachio flour!) as the first step before the other ingredients go in to form the cookie dough. It gives the cookies this rich and fragrant nuttiness that I adore.
Married with the sweet/tartness of dried cherries and the warmth of the red peppercorns (mellower than black peppercorns with "hints of cedar with brighter, almost fruity undertones"), I couldn't dream of a better flavor combination for this special recipe collaboration.
Let me know if you try this recipe and agree! Make sure you enter the GIVEAWAY by following the entry instructions over on my Instagram page @saltnpepperhere!
*** GIVEAWAY CLOSED ***ONE WINNER will be announced via my Instagram and contacted by Instagram Direct Message on Friday, December 8, 2017 12 PM EST.
MAKE IN ADVANCE: The cookie dough can be chilled, wrapped up in log form, in the refrigerator one or two nights before slicing and baking. I also love to freeze the baked cookies in a container or ziptop bag for a couple of weeks, taking out cookies to eat whenever I want - just let them get to room temperature.
Pistachio Shortbread Cookies with Dried Cherries + Red Peppercorns
Recipe makes about 40 2.5"cookies.
1 C (125g) pistachios without shell (you'll need about 2C of shell-on pistachios or 250g)
1 1/2 C (215g) All-purpose flour, preferably unbleached and non-GMO
3/4 C (95g) organic confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp finely ground DRØM red peppercorns
1 C (227g or 2 sticks) organic butter, cut into 1" chunks
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 C (85g) dried cherries, chopped into very small pieces
Maldon salt or other coarse flakey sea salt for sprinkling on top
Remove the pistachio shells and any skin that can be easily rubbed off with your fingers. Place them in a food processor along with the all-purpose flour, confectioner's sugar, salt and finely ground red peppercorns (make sure to finely grind the peppercorns first even though they are going into the food processor, we are not grinding the pistachios to the same degree of fineness).
Pulse repeatedly until the pistachios have broken down into a medium-coarse meal. Keep a close eye on the progress making sure not to over process it to the point that the pistachios turn into nut butter. You still want to see tiny pieces of nut, as opposed to a paste. But don't worry, in my experience, the presence of the confectioner's sugar and all-purpose flour helps it not turn into nut butter so suddenly, compared to grinding nuts alone.
Add the butter chunks, vanilla and chopped dried cherry bits to the food processor and pulse just until a dough just forms. Again, don't overprocess. Dump it out onto a large piece of plastic wrap and work it slightly with your hands if needed.
Divide the dough into two and roll each into logs about 2" in diameter. Wrap each log up in plastic wrap and twist the ends to close (square off the ends a bit by patting them with the palm of your hand). Chill the logs 30 minutes in the freezer (or 1 hr up to overnight in the fridge if more convenient).
Preheat oven to 375f. Slice the logs into 1/3" thick slices. Place them 2" apart on two large parchment-lined baking sheets. Keep unsliced log in the fridge if you don't have enough space on baking sheet and need to bake in batches. Sprinkle the tops with a healthy pinch of Maldon sea salt and bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are just browned. Cool them on the baking sheet for 8-10 minutes (they're quite fragile at this point) before transferring them to a wire rack to cool the rest of the way to room temperature.
Enjoy! They're addictive! xx