These pistachio shortbreads are sublime. In fact after this recipe, I don't think I'll use any other base recipe for shortbread. This is a "never fail" shortbread recipe with thin rectangles of shortbread dough rolled with finely chopped pistachios. Once baked to a delectable crisp they are then dipped in white chocolate and then decorated with Turkish delight pieces. They're perfect for gifting this Mother's Day or just savour them with a cup of tea yourself!
I received this "never fail" shortbread recipe from a woman called Julie. She was a guest for Christmas dinner one year as she is a friend of Queen Viv's and she and her husband Alistair were visiting from New Zealand at the time. Alistair is a happy go lucky guy while Julie wears the pants. She can be a tough critic and doesn't warm easily preferring to reserve judgement until someone has proved themselves. But as they say the best way to someone's heart is through their stomach and she enjoyed the Christmas dinner so much that when she came again the next year she came bearing gifts.
I could tell that it wasn't easy for her to part with the recipes. Her body language was stiff and a bit reluctant. She handed me a retro cookbook, marked with some recipes that she thought I might like. Then there was a printed sheet of two recipes titled "Fail proof basics" and it included a recipe for shortbread and a recipe for marmalade. Queen Viv pointed out that she never gives out recipes and I felt very pleased to be the recipient of them.
I adapted the shortbread to suit what I felt like eating. I had some fantastic cultured butter on hand so I knew what I wanted to make with it. These cookies are wonderfully crisp and short. The sort that you might take a bite of and then promptly ask someone for the recipe. Or really it's the kind of shortbread that goes into production. There's something so satisfying about biting into a biscuit and hearing that snap. Like the lock of a lipstick lid or the click of a car door closing shut.
I made these for Mother's Day as gifts for the mums. Well not Mr NQN's mother Tuulikki as she is food phobic but a bag of these will go to my butter loving mother and Mr NQN's aunt Sisko who don't have food phobias. And if you hadn't guessed my Dear Reader, this is a pushy recipe if you love shortbread. You can add the Turkish delight or you can just keep them chocolate dipped or plain (and use dark or milk chocolate if that takes your fancy). Just please try them!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like shortbread? Do you have any never fail recipes? Do you freely give out recipes? And do you have any food phobias?
Pistachio & Turkish Delight Choc Dipped Shortbread
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
- 210g/7ozs butter (use the best butter you can find)
- 90g/3ozs. caster or superfine sugar
- 230g/8ozs. plain all purpose flour (plus extra for rolling)
- 60g/2ozs. rice flour
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pistachios
- 150g/5ozs. white chocolate
- 2-3 cubes Turkish Delight
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 150C/300F and line 2 baking trays with parchment. Cream the butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy (around 3 minutes). Mix in the flour and rice flour until just combined.
Step 2 - Flour a board and roll out into a large rectangle. I find it easier to divide the dough in half and do it in two lots. Sprinkle the ground pistachios on top and roll them nuts in. Cut into rectangles or whatever patterns you like. Gently lift onto the parchment and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely.
Step 3 - Melt the white chocolate and dip the cookies into the chocolate (I use a spoon as well). Using a pair of scissors cut little pieces of Turkish delight and attach while the chocolate is still setting.