Pistachio and Ouzo cookies are my exotic Syrian take on the scrumptious flavors of Greece and the Middle East.
Having grown up in a Mediterranean influenced cuisine, my mind always goes there when I am creating new recipes.
Cookies are a world renounced dessert and so I had to create a cookie that was both Middle Eastern and Greek. Therefore, this cookie is truly Mediterranean!
These decadent Pistachio and Ouzo Cookies are loaded with crushed pistachios. Pistachios were the only nut I remember my mom cooking with when I was a kid.
Later, I remember walnuts and pecans in my mother’s cooking but pistachios were always in her Baklawa and cookies.
All nuts can be ground into a flour to use for baking. The natural oils in nuts makes for very moist baked goods.
Pistachio flour has such a lovely subtle green color that cakes and cookies just look festive when pistachio flour is used.
How To Make Pistachio and Ouzo Cookies
First, you will want to soften the butter. Leaving it out to room temperature works, but if it’s winter you may need a little help.
An easy way to soften butter is to fill a large Mason Jar with hot water, dump the water, put the butter in quick and put the lid on. The inside of the glass is warm and will soften the butter quickly.
Secondly, you will want to crush the pistachios into a soft flour. This can be done in a food processor or a blender.
My mom used to put the nuts in a kitchen towel and crush them with a hammer. This works too but doesn’t turn the nuts into flour.
Lastly, you will mix the ingredients together. Place the dough in a sheet of parchment paper. roll it into a log, chill, slice and bake. Easy!
Ouzo Arak and Pernod
The flavor of licorice or fennel is one you will find often in Mediterranean baked goods.
While these liquors are sipped or added to exotic drinks more frequently in Mediterranean cultures than any other liquor, they are also used in the baking of cakes, pies and cookies.
I would swear that an anise flavored liquor (Arak, Ouzo or Sambuca), will make you swear you are seeing belly dancers and exotic musicians!
- Ouzo, Arak or Sambuca
- Baking powder
- Confection sugar
- Food processor
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Parchment paper
Pistachio and Ouzo Cookies
Butter – 1 cup (2 sticks) softened
Sugar – 1 cup
Egg – 1
Ouzo, Arak or Sambuca – 1 tablespoon, any anise liquor you prefer
Flour – 2 cups
Pistachio nuts – 1 cup crushed to a powder, plus 1/4 cup for dusting
Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
Baking powder – 2 teaspoons
Confection sugar – 1/3 cup for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Blend softened butter and sugar until creamy.
- Add egg and liquor and blend well.
- Mix in flour, crushed nuts, baking powder, and salt. Blend until all ingredients come
- together into a dough ball.
- On a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper, place dough on top and roll into a log.
- Place the wrapped log into the fridge to chill. 6. Slice cookie dough into 1/4 inch thick slices.
- Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet or nonstick baking sheet.
- Bake between 12 and 15 minutes. Cool completely before dusting.
- Place the confectionery sugar in one bowl and the remaining crushed pistachios in another.
- Once cookies are completely cooled (otherwise they will melt the confectionery sugar) rub the tops of each cookie in sugar first them sprinkle with crushed pistachios.