chewy, dense pistachio cookies
Posted: 28 October 2011 03:22 PM   [ Ignore ]
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For the past 4 years, I’ve been trying to make pistachio cookies like those from Mike’s Pastry in Boston’s North End. I’m almost there, but I just know there’s something I’m either forgetting or not doing right. Any ideas on a recipe?
I can post the recipe I used and maybe someone could tell from that?

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Posted: 29 October 2011 03:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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nuzzmark - 28 October 2011 06:22 PM

For the past 4 years, I’ve been trying to make pistachio cookies like those from Mike’s Pastry in Boston’s North End. I’m almost there, but I just know there’s something I’m either forgetting or not doing right. Any ideas on a recipe?
I can post the recipe I used and maybe someone could tell from that?

I’m not clear on what your question is.  Are the cookies dense and chewy and you don’t want them to be that way?

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Posted: 29 October 2011 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I’m sending a picture of the cookie. Yes, I want it moist and dense. Some of the one’s I’ve made come out flat. Others a little rounded & look like oatmeal cookies. I’ve mostly used almond paste & just recently ground the almonds. I’ve whipped the egg whites, & just slightly beaten them. I’ve used 10x sugar, granulated sugar & mixed granulated & brown sugar. I do think the brown sugar keeps them chewier. Everytime I make another batch, (which is getting very costly…lol) I say I’m not trying anymore & then I just try it again. Mike’s cookies are about 2” square. I don’t even have to have them that big. Any ideas?
Clara

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Posted: 29 October 2011 04:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Ok, let me see if I have this straight:

1)  The photo is a picture of Mike’s cookie, right?
2)  Your cookies are coming out rather flat, instead of thick like Mike’s?

Or are you trying to achieve the cookie attached below?

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Posted: 30 October 2011 11:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hi Charles…
Yes, the photo is of Mike’s Pastry pistachio cookie. That’s what I want it to look like, not the one you showed. Yours looks familiar, though. I must have seen it before.

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Posted: 31 October 2011 12:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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The picture I posted is from Mike’s website, but it’s of a macaron.  I was wondering if your cookie was a macaron….you mentioned almond flour and egg whites.  You’ll need to post the full recipe I’m afraid.  I’m sure that many of us here would have suggestions about how to tweak the recipe.  The problem with just looking at the cookie is that we don’t know what its texture is like, nor its taste.  If your cookie only has almond flour and egg whites, then it might not have enough strength to shape a larger cookie; perhaps it needs some flour, if it doesn’t already have it.  (BTW, for macarons, the egg whites are supposed to be aged a few days in the refrigerator, which is supposed to help its strength.)

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Posted: 01 November 2011 08:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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hi…
the cookies from Mike’s don’t look like the macaron. If you do a search of Mike’s Pastry, you might see a regular round pistachio macaroon cookie without 10x sugar. That’s not the one, either. I’m sending another picture of the one I mean.
Ok…the recipe I concocted was:
1/2 c. egg whites. (I used dried egg whites..8 tsps. & 1/2 c. warm water)
1 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. cherry extract
1 7 oz. tube almond paste, grated
3 c. 10x sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 5 Tbls. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 c. pistachios, ground
1 c. pistachios very roughly chopped
3 drops green food coloring
Grind the 2 c. pistachios , but not into the texture of paste. Use pulsing action on food processor. Set aside. Roughly chop, by hand, remaining 1 c. pistachios, leaving them almost whole.
Preheat oven to 325?.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In large bowl, combine egg whites with green food coloring & extracts. Beat until peaks form, but not dry. In separate bowl, combine grated almond paste, flour, baking powder & sugars. beat until mixture resembles crumbs. Stir in ground pistachios; mix well with wooden spoon. Fold in beaten egg whites. With wire release scoop, size depending on how big you want the cookie, (I used small) scoop & drop in bowl with the 1 cup chopped pistachios & roll to coat. Place on parchment paper.
Bake about 12 minutes & check. tops will still feel soft to touch & lightly golden on bottoms. Bake longer if you think it needs it, but you want them soft.
Remove from oven, cool slightly & then roll in 10x sugar.
mine came out looking like oatmeal cookies. the taste wasn’t bad, though. They were still not as soft as Mike’s….chewy, though. In the picture here, they are very green. I didn’t make mine that deep green.
So….what do you think?

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Posted: 01 November 2011 08:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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nuzzmark - 01 November 2011 11:22 PM

So….what do you think?

My guess, and it is a guess, is that your recipe lacks structure.  If I were stuck on a desert island and I had to make this recipe work in order to be rescued, the first thing I’d do is to establish boundaries so that I knew the proper answer lay between two extremes.  I’d boost the flour quite a lot, maybe too much, see whether the shape was closer to what I wanted.  If there was no spread at all in the cookie, I’d conclude that the proper amount lay in between those two values.  An increase in almond flour might also provide more structure.

Another thought, since the flour is mixed only into the whipped egg whites, I wonder how much gluten is actually being formed?  Probably not much.  Of course in cookies, you don’t want much, but you do want some.  I wonder if a little water in the flour/almond flour mix might develop a little gluten before folding in the egg whites?

Anyone else have ideas?

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Posted: 02 November 2011 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I’m still a little unclear on your goal:  your cookies are too thin and crunchy and you want cookies that are thicker and softer, is that right? 

If that’s right, I would cut back on egg white and increase flour.  Also add a little milk.

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Posted: 02 November 2011 08:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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ok! I have no idea how I found this recipe & can’t even remember the site. I think I’ve looked at everyone that’s out there! ;o)
Anyway, I made these today. I’ll give the recipe the way I copied it then tell you what I changed & will change. They came out pretty good. the recipe is for Pine Nut cookies.

“Pine Nut Cookies
Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, these cookies are like almond macaroons with a pine nut bonus.
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups pine nuts (about 7 oz.)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup (packed) almond paste, crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg whites
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup powdered sugar for dusting.

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350?F. Butter 2 large baking sheets. Using on/off turns, blend 3/4 cup pine nuts and next 4 ingredients in processor until crumbly mixture forms. Transfer mixture to large bowl; add egg whites. Using electric mixer, beat until mixture is smooth. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt into bowl to blend. Add to pine nut mixture; beat until smooth (dough will be soft and sticky).
Place remaining 3/4 cup pine nuts in shallow bowl. Spoon generous tablespoonful dough into pine nuts in shallow bowl, coating 1 side of dough with nuts. Using floured fingertips, transfer dough to prepared baking sheet, pine nut side up. Smooth edges of dough to form even round. Repeat with remaining dough, flouring fingertips as needed to prevent sticking and spacing cookies 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.

Bake cookies 1 baking sheet at a time until golden, about 20 minutes. Cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar, transfer to plate and serve. (Cookies can be made 1 day ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)”

So….first, I would lower the temp of the oven to 325?. You don’t want them golden. They still have to be soft when you take them out of the oven. Keep checking after 10 minutes baking time.
What I changed was…pistachios instead of pine nuts. I didn’t use the lemon peel or vanilla. I used 1 tsp. almond extract, 3/4 tsp. cherry extract & 4 drops of green food coloring. Don’t add the salt if using salted pistachios. I very roughly chopped the remaining pistachios to coat the dough. I think you can see that in the picture.

Next time, instead of 1/4 cup of packed almond paste, I will use the Odense 7 oz. tube…the whole thing. I think it will make them chewier.
If any of you haven’t been to the Odense site, it’s wonderful. Inside the box of their almond paste, there is a recipe for coconut macaroons. it’s on the site, too. They are the best…really THE best macaroons I’ve had. Everyone that I give them to, goes nuts over them & wants the recipe. Their pignoli cookies are excellent, too.
I think I’m going to stick with this recipe, making the changes I’ve said.
If any of you make them, let me know what you think.

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