OK. Let’s call it what it is.
I’m on a cookie binge and yesterday’s oatmeal cookie plate is sitting on my counter empty.
It must have been Juliet.
Sweet little Juliet does have a few priors for helping herself to whatever is on the table. Look closely and you may see cookie crumbs on her whiskers…but no remorse in her big brown eyes .
I’ll have to watch Juliet more closely with today’s batch of wedding cookies because these cherry-pistachio wedding cookies are pretty wonderful—melt-in-your-mouth wonderful, in fact. They combine two of my favorite sweet ingredients, cherries and pistachios. And, who doesn’t revel in biting into a cookie covered generously in powdered sugar even if you do end up with that embarrassing tell-tale powdered sugar mustache?
For those of you who are eagerly awaiting my history of food lesson (I was a history teacher for 33 years, People! I can’t help myself. ), here it is. The first cookies are thought to have originated in Persia in the 7th Century A.D. While early cooks used honey to sweeten foods, the first sugar plants are thought to have been introduced by explorers via Bengal (India) or South East Asia. Later, it is believed that sugar was introduced to Europe through two historical events: the Moorish invasion of Spain and the flourishing spice trade that developed subsequent to the Crusades.
Back to cookies…the first cookies baked in Europe were probably nothing more than tests for oven temperature. Rather than risk a whole cake in a too-cold oven, small amounts of cake batter were placed in ovens to check for correct temperature.
And why do we call them “cookies?” The word originated from the Dutch word koekje for small cakes. Early American cooks, by the way, had a variety of names for cookies. They were called jumbles and cry babies.
Hope you enjoy these great little cry babies.
Recipe: Cherry Pistachio Wedding Cookies
1 1/2 C. cake flour
2/3 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 C. powdered sugar (divided)
2 t. cornstarch
1/4 t. salt
1/2 C. chilled butter (cut into small pieces)
3 t. ice water
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 C. dried tart cherries (chopped or whole)
1/4 C. finely chopped salted dry-roasted pistachios
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a cookie sheet with oil.
Put flours, 3/4 C. powdered sugar, cornstarch and salt into a food processor and process until well mixed.
With the food processor running, add chilled butter to the sugar and flour mixture, a few pieces at a time. Process for about one minute.
Combine vanilla extract and ice water in a bowl and whisk to mix. Slowly add this mixture to the food processor with the flour, sugar and butter mixture, pouring the water and vanilla mixture through the chute with the processor running. Process for about one minute. The dough will be crumbly but should come together when you press it into a tablespoon. If it doesn’t, add one or two additional teaspoons of ice water.
Add the cherries and pistachios to the dough in the processor and pulse until just combined–about ten pulses.
Transfer mixture into a bowl and, using a tablespoon, press the mixture into the tablespoon until it comes together and is level in the spoon. Tap the spoon to release the cookie onto a cookie pan that has been sprayed with oil.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes. The bottoms of the cookies should be a light golden brown. Remove cookies from oven and cool for about 10 minutes.
Toss the cookies in the remaining 1/2 C. powdered sugar to coat. This recipe makes about 32 cookies.
This recipe was adapted from Cooking Light’s baking book, Everyday Baking.