Buttery pistachio shortbread cookies covered with dark chocolate on one side and white chocolate on the other. They are nutty, crispy, salty-sweet, and so buttery they practically melt in your mouth.
These cookies are a great example of what happens when things in the kitchen aren't turning out quite as you expected. Rather than giving up and throwing the whole project out the window, you tap into your inner Julia Child, let go of preconceived expectations, and just roll with it. In the end, you happily discover that the result is better than what you were trying to achieve in the first place.
In other words, these cookies are a life lesson lesson to me. Change is inevitable. Sometimes best laid plans don't mean a thing. What you think you want is not always what you get. And sometimes, what you get is even better.
Who knew a simple chocolate covered shortbread cookie could be so meaningful? 😊
I won't bore you with what these cookies were intended to be. I did, in fact, plan to make pistachio shortbread. That part of the plan stayed true. But the original idea involved apricot jam, a completely different shape and size, and a lot less chocolate.
As quickly became apparent, my original idea was only a good idea in theory. In the end, I ditched the jam entirely, experimented with different shapes and proportions, and covered the buttery little cookies with chocolate. (Because, when in doubt, add chocolate.)
These pretty little double chocolate shortbread cookies are the result. And they are delicious.
These cookies are deliciously salty and sweet
BUT - it's up to you to decide how salty you want your cookies to be. One of the things that made me think these cookies were going to be a disaster is the amount of salt in the dough. I love, love, love salty-sweet flavors, but failed to realize how much salt the pistachios themselves would add to the dough.
I started with these salt and pepper pistachios, which my family goes through in droves because they are so freaking delicious. Since I had a gigantic bag of these in the cupboard, I decided to use them in these cookies, shelling 1 ½ cups of pistachios while watching an episode of Ozark with my husband.
Who am I kidding? I probably shelled twice that many. One for the cookies, one for me. One for the cookies, two for me...
The pistachios added a hint of black pepper to the cookies that I find absolutely delicious. But, they also add a lot of salt. So much so, that coating these cookies with chocolate on one side wasn't enough to balance it out. So, I flipped them over and covered them with another layer of chocolate. Which turned out to be another happy "mistake".
The cookies are coated with dark chocolate on one side and white chocolate on the other, with drizzles of white chocolate over the dark and dark chocolate over the white. I love how pretty the double coating of black and white chocolate looks. I also love the contrast in texture between the delicate, buttery shortbread and hard chocolate coating.
BUT - there is still a lot of salt in these cookies
Because of my affinity for salty sweet desserts, I feel that the balance of salt to sweet in these cookies is perfect. But, if you generally prefer less salt to sweet in your cookies, opt for unsalted pistachios, or omit the additional salt in the dough altogether.
More shortbread cookie recipes
- 1 ½ cups (3 sticks, or 12 oz) salted butter, cut into cubes
- ½ cup granulate sugar
- ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 ½ cups shelled salted or unsalted pistachios, either toasted or roasted (*please see notes above and below about the amount of salt in this recipe)
- 2 ¼ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 16 oz dark chocolate
- 16 oz white chocolate
- Put the butter and sugars in the bowl of a standing mixer, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Place the pistachios in the freezer and freeze for 20 minutes.
- Add the flour, cornstarch, and frozen pistachios to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Pulse for about 60 seconds, until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Remove the butter and sugar from the refrigerator and add the pistachio mixture to the bowl. Using the paddle attachment, beat the mixture on low speed until the butter is broken up and the dough begins to resemble coarse crumbs, about 5 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the dough starts to come together around the paddle, about 2-3 minutes. Dump the dough out onto a work surface and knead a few times to bring it together completely.
- Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit a rimless 16x14 or 16x11 cookie sheet. Lay the parchment paper on a work surface and sprinkle it with a bit of flour. Place the dough in the center of the parchment paper and pat it into a rectangle with your fingers. Then, using a rolling pin, roll the dough to nearly the same length and width as the sheet of parchment. Slide the parchment and dough onto your baking sheet. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight.
- Line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and remove the dough from the refrigerator. Cut the dough into strips that are approximately 1 inch wide. Then cut each strip into rectangles that are approximately 2 ½ inches long. Place cookies on prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 1-inch between each cookie to allow for spreading. You should be able to fit about 28 cookies on one cookie sheet. Bake cookies one sheet at a time, keeping the remaining dough in the refrigerator.
- Bake cookies in the center of the oven for 12-14 minutes, until the cookies look set and the edges are just barely beginning to brown. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and place on a wire rack. Let the cookies cool completely on the pan before removing them.
- When cookies are completely cool, add the white and dark chocolate to separate bowls. Heat a small pan of water to boiling and place one of the bowls of chocolate over the simmering water. Allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. When melted, remove the bowl from the simmering water and repeat with the other bowl of chocolate.
- Spread one side of the cookies with dark chocolate. Using the tip of a butter knife, drizzle the white chocolate over the dark chocolate. Place the cookies in the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to harden completely.
- Flip the cookies over and spread a layer of white chocolate on the other side. Using the tip of a butter knife, drizzle dark chocolate over the white chocolate. Place the cookies in the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to harden completely before serving.
- Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
I love salty sweet desserts and feel that with the double coating of chocolate, the balance of salt to sweet in these cookies is perfect when using salted pistachios. But, if you generally prefer less salt to sweet in your cookies, opt for unsalted or lightly salted pistachios. Or omit the additional salt in the dough altogether.
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KitchenAid Professional 600 6-Qt. Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Large Classic Cookie Sheet
Ghirardelli Classic White Chocolate Chip, 11 oz, 2 pk
Ghirardelli Chocolate Premium Baking Chips 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate, 10 oz (Pack of 12)
Wonderful Pistachios, Salt and Pepper Flavor, 14 Ounce Bag
Nutrition Information:Yield: 70 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 143Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 50mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 2g