Saturday, December 10, 2011

Moment of Zen: Cooking

I love to cook, not generally in the nude, but I love this picture nonetheless.  You can get lost in cooking and your worries go away.  Generally when I cook, especially things like the cookies I made the other night, I am cooking for other people, so I enjoy the joy they get out of eating what I made.  So that is my moment of Zen for today, because with the holidays, there will be lots of cooking going on around here.

Tait requested that I share the recipe for my pistachio/cherry cookies.  I first saw this recipe on a Food Network holiday cookie special, but have since made it enough times to make some adjustments of my own to them.  People always seem to love them.

Sugar Cookies with Pistachio and Dried Cherries
Prep Time:15 min
Inactive Prep Time:30 min
Cook Time:11 min

1 (8-ounce) roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
1 (11-ounce) bag white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Open sugar cookie log and press into a rectangle on cutting board. Add pistachios and cherries, kneading/mixing into the dough, and refrigerate overnight. Using a cookie scoop or spoon, scoop out cookies and make a one inch ball of dough. Slightly press the ball to flatten the cookies a little. Transfer cookies to a baking sheet.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until golden around the edges. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

While cookies are cooling, melt white chocolate chips in a bowl over simmering water. (Microwaving for 1 min. 30 sec. on medium power gets this process working quicker. Then place bowl over simmering water to finish the melting process.)

When cookies are cool, dip bottom half of cookies into melted white chocolate and place on waxed or parchment paper to cool.

The green of the pistachios and the red of the dried cherries makes a wonderful Christmas themed cookie. To add a little more festivity to them, I often sprinkle some red and green nonpareil holiday sprinkles on the white chocolate before it hardens.

A nice variation to these is to use dried peaches and pecans instead of dried cherries and pistachios.  It gives them a totally different but very "Southern" flavor to them.


Anonymous said...

This looks like a variation of the Berger Cookies recipe I am making tonight or tomorrow. I will use walnuts and cherries, and while chocolate for the glaze. I like the idea of sprinkling some green and red sugar on the chocolate or some nonpariels...hmmm...another trip to the store!

Oh, and I never cook in the nude, too much hot stuff at the level of certain stuff that could come into contact with one another! OUCH!

Peace <3

silvereagle said...

JoeBlow---Thanks for sharing the recipe...especially the suggested southern version! I hope to make both of them this next week....

As for me, cooking does lift me to that moment of zen as well. Tonight and tomorrow will be cooking amaretto cheesecakes -- 5 or 6 this year...some years more....takes some time, but well worth the effort.

Greetings of the season to all...and may we all enjoy the cooking!!!

Siver Eagle

Tait said...

Yay! Thanks so much! They look delicious and easy to make too! :)

fan of casey said...

Joe: First pict -- I would have thought your recipe would be for "buns." Haha.

Coop said...

Nice buns. They must be delicious teehee.
If I had any hope of being a good cook, I'd try it. :)