Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pistachio Shortbread Wedges...

When Jeff accepted the new position, we were unsure what he was going to do for a workspace during the times we are back in Minneapolis. Thankfully, he was able to secure a spot in the same building very near where he used to sit before. Which meant, to me anyway, that I'd be able to continue our Wednesday Treat Day tradition when we are in town - at least, until things get crazy around here again!

Since this Wednesday is St. Patrick's Day, how could I make anything that didn't involve green in some form? I didn't even have to think about what to make as these Pistachio Shortbread Wedges that PJ posted recently fit the bill!

These tender cookies get their green color from not only the chopped pistachios scattered on top, but a secret ingredient - instant pistachio pudding mix! Mixed with creamy butter, a touch of sugar, salt and a dribble of vanilla, the pudding mix quickly stains the mixture a vibrant green without having to add any extra coloring. Bound with enough flour to form the dough, the mixture is pliable and soft, yet not so sticky that it clings to you while handling it, making for a dough that was a dream to work with.

Shortbread dough can be rolled out and cut into cookies if desired, but this version simplifies the whole process by splitting the dough in half and pressing each over the bottom of a couple cake pans to form tidy, contained rounds instead. The pudding mix adds a hint of pistachio flavor, but to reinforce that, finely chopped pistachios are then scattered over each piece of dough - to ensure the nuts adhere, be sure to lightly press them down into the dough. The best way to tell when the shortbreads are done is by watching the sides of the dough - when they start to pull away from the sides and the edges are richly golden, it's time to take them out.

Instead of waiting for them to cool down at all, immediately (but carefully, they are quite hot!) after you take them out of the oven, you'll want to turn them out of the pans and slice them into wedges. While still warm, the shortbread is soft enough that you will be able to slice the rounds into solid wedges. If you wait until they have cooled completely, they won't cut well and will tend to crumble.

We used 9" pans to bake this shortbread in, but if you only have the more common 8" size, go ahead and use those. Everything stays the same, but you may just need an extra minute or two to bake them through. With just enough sweetness, we didn't find these buttery wedges to be overly complex with pistachio flavor. That isn't necessarily a bad thing though as that melt-in-your-mouth texture was brilliant and the nuts on top did help a bit. I think we just expected a little more pistachio punch - you could add "pistachio flavoring" if you happen to have it, but I didn't and just went with vanilla.



  1. I love Pistachio and this looks delicious. I will certainly be trying this one. I wish I was one of Jeff's coworkers!!

  2. Helenabelle - These went flying off the plate today!

  3. Mmmmm I love pistachio, always have. I wish I could grab a piece of the shortbread out of my computer!

  4. Valen - Wish I could have shared!