I thought it would be nice to make acetani with pistachios instead of almonds, and the result was amazing. Unlike acetani, the flavor of the orange zest blends in to support the pistachios, rather than being the star. These delicious pistachio-orange cookies have great depth of flavor. They aren’t crispy but nicely chewy. They are made without flour, only from toasted and then ground pistachios, and are therefore gluten-free. I baked them for my colleagues for my birthday, and everyone loved them. Here’s what I did…
For 20-25 cookies
250 grams (1 1/2 cups) shelled pistachios, toasted for 8 minutes at 180C/350F
250 grams (1 1/4 cups) sugar
25 grams (2 Tbsp) honey
75 grams egg whites (about 2 very large eggs)
grated zest of 1 large or 2 small untreated oranges
2 grams (1/2 tsp) baking powder
icing sugar (powdered sugar, confectioners’ sugar)
Combine 250 grams pistachios, 250 grams sugar, and the grated zest of 1 large or 2 small oranges in the bowl of the food processor.
Process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary…
…until you obtain a fine powder.
Add about 75 grams of egg whites. The exact amount of egg whites depends on how fine you ground the pistachios (the finer, the more egg white you will need). The mixture should just come together and be very thick. If it is too thin, the cookies will spread out by too much. It is better to start with a bit less than you think you may need, and then only add more if needed to get the mixture to come together.
Add 25 grams (2 Tbsp) of honey and 2 grams (1/2 tsp) of baking powder.
Process until the mixture comes together. The mixture should be very thick and not at all runny.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the mixture for at least an hour to firm up. This makes it easier to roll the mixture into balls.
When the mixture has firmed up, preheat the oven to 160C/320F (if fan forced, otherwise 180C/350F). Roll the mixture into 20 to 25 balls of approximately equal size with your hands.
Coat each ball in powdered sugar.
Arrange the balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. They should be spaced somewhat apart, as they will spread during baking.
Bake for 10-15 minutes at 160C/320F (if fan forced, otherwise 180C/350F) until they start to turn golden. The cookies will still be soft.
Allow to cool to room temperature before eating (or storing in an airtight container). They are best within a few days, as they will slowly dry out and loose their chewiness.
This chocolate pomegranate tart looks pretty and is delicious.