While walking the mile and a half to my favorite German restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, I chanced upon a bakery that I hadn’t noticed previously: Pistacia Vera. There was a sign out front advertising lime sugar cookies – now that sounded like a great midnight snack - so I went in to see what they were like. Unfortunately, the customer ahead of me bought the last lime sugar cookie. No matter. The other cookies and pastries in the case looked a lot more delectable and exciting. This bakery features at least a dozen varieties of the popular French macarons, as well as cannelés which are almost impossible to find in all but the trendiest and most expensive bakeries. There were trays of fancy pastries, brioche puddings, and bear claws. Another shelf held gorgeous breads and tortes, and on the counter there were tiered trays piled with a variety of cookies such as bittersweet fudgies, French butter shortbread, and Almondines. One of my purchases (I won’t admit how many items I purchased – but the number most likely equaled at least a month’s worth of weekly Weight Watchers points) was an unassuming looking chocolate chunk pistachio cookie. That cookie turned out to be one of the best things I have ever eaten.
My version of these cookies, Almost Pistacia Vera’s Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cookies, is very close to those sold in the bakery. They are chewy drop cookies full of toasted pistachio nuts and dark chocolate – Yum! My version is simple to make, so even the most inexperienced cooks will have no trouble making them. Everyone, however, will have plenty of trouble staying away from them once they are baked. I recommend finding a good hiding place.
5 dozen cookies
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups salted pistachio nuts, toasted in a 350° oven 8-10 minutes, coarsely chopped
2 4-ounce dark semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate bars (at least 60% cacao), broken or cut into small chunks
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Cream the shortening, butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
- Measure the flour, salt, and baking soda into a fine strainer over the butter mixture; shake the mixture through.
- Mix well and stir in the pistachio nuts and chocolate chunks.
- Drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined or greased baking sheets.
- Bake 7-9 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Transfer to cooling racks to cool thoroughly and store in an airtight container.
Amount Per Cookie
Calories 113 Calories from Fat 62
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 55% Protein 6% Carb. 39%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 7 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 11 mg
Sodium 72 mg
Total Carbohydrate 11 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 2 g
Protein 2 g
Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 1% Calcium 0% Iron 4%