Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lemon Pistachio Cookies with Fleur de sel

After making double the recipe of custard for the strawberry tart, I have 10 egg whites left in my fridge.  As someone who hates to waste food, meringue, pavlova, and angel food cake all came to my mind suddenly.  Since I haven't made angel food cake for a long time, I tend to do that one with the whites.  However, I need 12 whites for it.  Then I found this cookie recipe on 5 second rule which uses 2 egg yolks.  Perfect!

I tried baking soda and boiling water to remove skin from hazelnut before, but I was not sure if pistachios would take the baking soda well.  Then I read from another site about soaking pistachios in salt brine before skinning and roasting.  I followed the instructions but found the process a lot slower and involved more labour.  It worked but I'll go back to the boiling method next time.  As you can see from the picture below, the skin can be removed in one piece easily after soaking for 30 mins.

The original recipe used 3/4 tsp cardamom.    I was struck by the intense fragrance of it.  Since t's my first time using this spice, I reduced the amount by half.  Yet I couldn't smell it at all afterwards.  Guess I should have kept the original amount just to try it.  I also reduced the sugar to 150g.  It's the perfect level for me.

The first lot I made with 375F browned too quickly with the centre not fully set.  For the second lot, I lowered the temperature to 350F and increased the oven time for 2 mins.  They turned out much even inside out.  The Fleur de sel gave it a nice touch too.  It didn't feel greasy to me at all (even though I could see the grease left on the silpat:-)).  I put 8 oz of butter in the dough, and used only half of the dough to make 24 cookies.  The remaining half of the dough is still in my fridge.  I can bake more whenever I want.  This will be a convenient treat for any impulse dinner with friends.


  1. Please do tell the method for skinning hazelnut! I had a bag from my mom and I didn't know how to skin them.

  2. Not sure why the link I put in the comment didn't show up. Anyway, here's what to do:
    For 1/2 cup of nuts, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and the nuts and boil them for 3 minutes. The water will turn black from the nut skins. Rinse the nuts well under cold running water, then use your fingers to remove the skins. The skins slip right off, easy as can be. I put the nuts on a kitchen towel as I removed each skin, rubbed them a bit to make sure they were dry, and then toasted them in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
    It works very well.

  3. Thanks! I should try it this weekend!