Orange Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies

What an unfortunate timing for this post! The US FDA just came out with a warning against eating pistachios which may contain salmonella. Anyway, just keep this recipe in mind when they finally declare pistachios safe again.

When I saw this recipe from Ezra Pound Cake’s site I knew I had to try it. I’ve never tasted pistachio in cookies and I love the words orange and chocolate in one product. I couldn’t find shelled pistachios so I had to remove each and every pistachio from the shell. I indicated the changes I would make the next time I made this.

Orange Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pack unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra-large eggs (i used 3 large eggs)
2 teaspoons almond extract (i would use vanilla next time)
Grated zest of 2 large oranges (would increase to 2 T)
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips (semi sweet)
1 1/2 cups shelled pistachios, salted or unsalted, left whole

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, with the rack in the center position. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone pan liners or parchment paper.

Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Place the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer set on high speed, beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well after each addition. Mix in the almond extract and orange zest and finally the flour mixture.

When the flour mixture is totally incorporated, mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons on the prepared sheets, placing the portions 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until they just begin to brown around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. The centers should remain pale. (If you like flat, crisp, chewy cookies, slam the cookie sheets down on a work surface halfway through the baking time. If you like softer cookies, skip that step.) Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Bake the remaining cookies in the same way.

Note: These make great freeze-and-serve cookies. Form the dough into 2 logs 10 inches long and about 2 inches wide. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and again in aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. To bake: Use a sharp knife to cut the still frozen dough into 3/4-inch slices. Place the slices 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets and allow them to defrost for 15 minutes before baking them according to the directions above.

These are truly yummy cookies! Pistachios and chocolate chips are a good combination. The orange zest gives it another dimension. I didn’t taste the almond extract though. So next time you make a batch of chocolate chip cookies throw in some pistachios.

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