Jam Balls

24 to 26 cookies.

1 cup Butter (or margarine)
1 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 tablespoon Vanilla extract
2 cups Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt (optional)
1 cup Natural American pistachios, finely chopped
Thick colorful jams


Cream shortening with sugar, egg and vanilla. Beat in flour, salt and 1/2 cup pistachios, a portion at a time. Shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls; roll in remaining 1/2 cup pistachios. Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350°F. for 10 minutes. Make a dent in each cookie by pressing with tip of spoon. Bake 10 minutes longer or until light golden on bottoms. Cool on wire rack then fill hollows with jam.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!