Chocolate Chunk Pistachio Cookies

Have you ever been to Sicily? Sicily always reminds me of pistachio nuts (pistacchio in Italian) and cannoli. And while I am not a huge fan of cannoli, I love pistachios. In fact we eat them most Sundays at our big family Sunday lunch. And every Sunday our youngest daughter, our son and their uncle have a war to see who can grab the most pistachios from the plate! A rather silly tradition, but a tradition none the less. And while I pick a few pistachios from the nut plate on Sundays (I prefer the almonds), my real pistachio love is for Pistacchio Gelato. It is THE BEST. So good. Amazing. And if you have ever had pistachio ice cream in the US well Pistacchio Gelato is a whole other universe…so much better, and different.

The funny thing is that as much as pistachios remind me of Italy, the highest producer of pistachios in the world is Iran. But not only that… Italy is only the 7th highest producer! Go figure!!

But I digress… so in keeping with my love for pistacchio, I found this amazing cream the other day (which you can also eat by the spoonful if you prefer). And I had to come with a fitting recipe to suit this amazing confection.

To make these show-stopper cookies you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/3 cup cacao
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg/1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • 6 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks
  • Pistacchio cream (if pistacchio cream is not available, you can substitute with Nutella, but do your best to FIND THIS CREAM because it is Ah.Maz.Ing.!!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (not imitation, I use vanilla bean paste)

Begin by freezing your pistachio cream. Just scoop out a small teaspoon full (think about what size will actually fit in your cookie) onto a plate and place in the freezer until completely frozen.

Next make your chocolate chunk cookie dough.

Mix your dry ingredients: Flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa. Whisk together with a fork or sift into a bowl.

Next mix your wet ingredients in your electric stand mixer. Blend your sugars and butter (room temperature) on high for 2-4 minutes until completely blended and fluffy (scrape sides of bowl as you go). Add your egg and egg yolk and beat for another 2 minutes (scraping sides of bowl).

Lastly add your dry ingredients to your stand mixer and beat on low just until blended. Do not over-mix the dough. Chill your dough for at least an hour or over night.

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Remove your pistacchio cream tabs from the plate (that is why mine have a fork mark on them! But that’s ok because you will not see it later).

Make a flat ball of dough in your hand. Place the pistacchio cream tab in the center and gently push the dough around the tab until you are sure that the tab is completely covered with cookie dough. Place on cookie sheet.

Bake at 360°F for 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to over-bake! Chocolate is tricky that way because of it’s dark color. It is better to err on the side of letting them finish cooking on the cookie sheet, than to burn them.

Allow to cool on a cooling rack.

Enjoy! Because whether the pistachios are from California, Italy or Iran…they are just SO GOOD. Maybe you can start your own tradition of a Sunday pistachio war. Except that you fight over these cookies instead!

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