Gluten-free Pistachio Cookies by Carol Kicinski

Rating: 
Yield: 
12 cookies.
Ingredients: 

For Cookies:
2¼ cups Roasted, salted pistachios – use divide
1 cup Granulated sugar plus more for sprinkling
2 Large egg whites
1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
2 drops Green food coloring - optional 
For Filling:
½ cup Dairy free dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract 

Instructions: 

For Cookies:
Preheat the oven to 325° F. Line two baking sheets with Silpat mats or parchment paper.
Roughly chop ¼ cup of the pistachios and reserve for garnish. Place the remaining 2 cups pistachios in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process the pistachios until they turn into a paste, this will take 2 or 3 minutes, scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times during the processing.
Add 1 cup sugar to the pistachio paste and process in long pulses until combined. Add the egg whites, vanilla and food coloring if using and pulse to combine. You should have a thick batter. Using a small ice cream scoop or two teaspoons, drop the cookies onto the prepared pan, spacing two inches apart. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with a little granulated sugar and the reserved chopped pistachios. Gently press the pistachios into the cookies.
Bake for 12 – 14 minutes for chewy cookies, 15 – 17 minutes for crispy cookies. The cookies should be lightly browned around the edges. Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Top half of the cookies with granulated sugar, chopped pistachios and a bit of dried cranberry or cherry. Leave the other half of the cookies plain.
For Filling:
Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 – 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until just melted. Keep the chocolate in the warm bowl and stir in the vanilla. It may start to seize up a little, that’s ok, just keep stirring until smooth again and thickened. Let cool. The chocolate will thicken more as it cools.
Spread some of the cooled chocolate on the flat side of the plain cookies. Top with a cookie that has the chopped pistachios and cranberries or cherries, flat side down.

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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!