Honey & Co's chocolate and pistachio cookies
I tasted these gorgeously squidgy chocolate cookies last year at the Bath launch of Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich’s baking book which is a must-buy for anyone who loves baking. Or frankly, even if you don’t - you will by the time you've read it.
What makes the book so utterly irresistible (apart from the great recipes) is Sarit and Itamar’s chatty writing style, a sample of which you can see (from Sarit) in the introduction to this recipe:
"Itamar discourages me from making cookies for the shop for many reasons. They are very labour-intensive, taking up much of our pastry time; plus the rest of the kitchen, seeing a tray coming out of the oven, will flock round to try to damage the little things so they can have them.
The main point of disagreement, however, is that he doesn’t see them as dessert. I most definitely do. I think there is nothing nicer as a treat and a bowlful of indulgent cookies passed around the table can be the perfect finish to a rich dinner. They contain just the right amount of sweetness and if one isn’t quite enough you can always have another and then just one more … Maybe I can see the problem with them after all."
makes 12 large cookies or 24 bite-sized ones
250g chocolate (I use a 60% cacao dark chocolate)
50g unsalted butter
175g light brown soft sugar
60g strong white bread flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of table salt
About 200g pistachios very roughly chopped to coat
You will also need two baking trays lined with baking parchment.
Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl in the microwave or over a double steamer. In the meantime whisk the eggs and sugar to a sabayon - that is, until the mixture is very thick and fluffy.
Fold the melted chocolate into the eggs. Add the flour, baking powder and salt then fold together until you have a lovely even mixture. Allow to rest for about 30 minutes in a cool place or pop in the fridge for 10-15 minutes (you want the dough to be manageable but not set). If you forget about it in the fridge and it sets solid you will have to bring it back up to temperature in a warm place so that you can handle it easily.
Divide the dough into 12 and using two spoons or a piping bag shape into balls of about 50g each. I usually use weighing scales but you can be more relaxed if you prefer and just estimate the size.
Spread the chopped pistachios on a flat tray and drop the balls of chocolate goodness onto them. Flip them to coat all over then transfer to the baking trays, allowing about 5cm between them as they will spread in the heat of the oven. You can keep the unbaked cookies in the fridge until you are ready to bake or, alternatively freeze them for up to 2 weeks and simply thaw before baking.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6. Place the trays of cookies in the centre of the oven for 8-9 minutes (allow 12 minutes if the cookies have been chilled). Remove and leave to cool on the trays while the chocolate sets fully. Once the cookies are cool you wil be able to pick them up quite easily but the middle will stay nice and soft like a moist chewy brownie so handle with care. These keep well for up to a week in an airtight container or sealed bag.
What to drink: I'm not sure wine is the best accompaniment for these - I'd personally go for an espresso or black Americano coffee but you could try a Greek muscat or a vin santo.
Recipe from Honey & Co. The Baking Book published by Saltyard Books. Photograph © Patricia Niven.
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