Posts Tagged ‘Pistachio’

Gluten-Free!

February 5, 2017
In the course of my bringing treats (baked goods and sweets) to the office from time to time, it became apparent that not every one could enjoy the desserts I was making (gluten-free, lactose intolerant, allergies, etc.). So, I’ve begun exploring other “options” and found a couple of delicious gluten-free cookie recipes (below).  Enjoy!
Chocolate Pistachio
3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons of almond flour
2 Tablespoons of cocoa
3 Tablespoons of softened butter
3 Tablespoons of Confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon of espresso powder
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/3 cup of chopped pistachios
Beat the first seven (7) ingredients together on low speed until a “dough” forms.  Mix in the 1/3 cup of chopped pistachios.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on the counter.  Transfer the dough to the plastic wrap and form it into a log shape (about 7-8″ long and 2″ in diameter).  Wrap the log in the plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill (for at least 60 minutes).
When the dough feels firm and chilled, remove it from the fridge and place it on a flat working surface.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Unwrap the cookie dough and slice it into 1/4″ slices (a very sharp knife really makes a difference). You could slice them a little thicker and adjust your cooking time accordingly.  Place the cookies on the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until they start to brown (but watch them closely after 10 minutes or so to ensure you don’t burn them).  Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring the cookies to a rack to cool completely.
Orange Cranberry — same instructions as above, add the orange zest and cranberries at the same point you added the pistachios above.
1 cup of almond flour
3 Tablespoons of softened butter
3 Tablespoons of Confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of orange zest
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
Happy baking!
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Cheesecake of the Month – March 2015!

March 15, 2015

Here we are, dangerously close to St. Patrick’s Day, and I’ve found a cheesecake recipe that features pistachios!  I can’t remember the last time I made a “no-bake” cheesecake  (it has been decades), but I ran across this recipe that sounds positively delicious.  In addition to not baking (aside from the crust), this recipe does not require any eggs.

Frozen Pistachio Cheesecake

1/2 cup of pistachio nuts (hulled)
1 cup of butter cookie crumbs
1-1/2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar
1/4 cup of butter, melted
1/2 cup of whipping cream
6 ounces of white chocolate, finely chopped
2 packages of cream cheese (8-ounce each), softened
1/3 cup of butter softened
1/3 cup of sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Garnish — additional pistachios nuts, if desired

1.  Chop pistachios.  Add cookie crumbs, sugar, and butter and combine until blended.  Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a lightly greased 7″ springform pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

2.  Bring the whipping cream to a simmer in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Remove from the heat and add the chopped white chocolate.  Let stand for two to three minutes.  Then using a rubber spatula, stir the mixture gently until smooth.

3.  Beat the cream cheese and softened butter on medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Add the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.  Add the melted white chocolate mixture and vanilla and beat for an additional three minutes or until very smooth.  Pour the batter into your prepared crust.  Cover and freeze at least 8 hours (or up to a month).

4.  Allow the cheesecake to stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes prior to serving.  Gently run a knife along the edges of the pan to release the sides; carefully remove the pan.  Garnish if desired.  A really sharp knife works best when slicing the frozen cheesecake.

Enjoy!

Trivia in the Kitchen, Number Fifteen!

November 15, 2014

Did you know that the Queen of Sheeba was so fond of pistachios that she hoarded all the pistachios in Assyria for herself?  She would only share them with honored guests at her court.  In Syria today, pistachios are given as gifts of goodwill, especially at weddings.

The pistachio is a member of the cashew family and is native to the Eastern Mediterranean, Central Asia, and Xinjiang.  The top five commercial producers of pistachios are Iran, the United States, Turkey, China, and Syria.

Each pistachio tree averages around 50 kilograms (110 lb) of seeds (around 50,000) every two years.

The scientific classification of the pistachio is as follows:

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Anacariaceae
Genue: Pistacia
Species: P. vera

 

Cheesecake of the Month – June 2013!

June 15, 2013

Now that summer is upon us (officially in a few days), it’s time to start thinking about cheesecake recipes that could be described as either refreshing and/or light.  So I’ve searched through all of my recipes and have found one that I feel fits the bill — Citrus Daiquiri.  Yum!

Citrus Daiquiri Cheesecake

CRUST
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup chopped pistachio nuts
1/4 cup butter, melted

FILLING
4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
1/4 cup rum
2 teaspoons lime zest
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon cornstarch

TOPPING
1/2 cup sour cream
1-1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1. CRUST: In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, nuts, and butter. Press onto the bottom of 9″ springform pan and freeze.

2. FILLING: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the rum, lime zest, lemon zest, lime juice, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Pour over the frozen crust. Bake at 350 degrees (in a pre-heated oven) for 45 to 55 minutes or until the top is light brown and the center has a slight jiggle to it. Cool on the counter for 10 minutes (do not turn off the oven). The cheesecake will sink slightly.

3. TOPPING: In a bowl, combine the sour cream, sugar, lime zest, and lemon zest. Pour into the center of the cooled cheesecake and spread to the edges. Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Cool on a rack for two hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least six hour.s

4. DECORATION: Sprinkle chopped pistachios in a 1-inch border around the top of the cheesecake.

White Chocolate, Cranberry, Pistachio, Yum!

December 18, 2010

Well, we are a week away from Christmas and I’ve been busy in the kitchen baking up a storm for the past couple of weeks.  One of my favorite holiday cheesecakes is the White Chocolate with Cranberry/Pistachio Crunch.

I posted the recipe a couple of years ago, but I realized that I have never posted a picture of the delectable dessert!  A horrible oversight on my part.  So, here you go!

For those of you who may not enjoy cranberries and pistachios, I have a plethora of other wonderful cheesecake recipes that I’ve posted throughout the years (many with pictures); check out my blog’s “cheesecake” category — there are no calories for just looking!

Great Cheesecake for the Holidays!

December 7, 2008

This one keeps getting rave reviews from everyone who tastes it and it has become one of my most requested cheesecakes (lately).  What’s not to like . . . gingersnap, white chocolate, cranberry, and pistachio. . . great combination!

CRANBERRY/PISTACHIO CHEESECAKE

2¼ cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2/3 cup whipping cream
1 pound white chocolate, finely chopped
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Candied Cranberries (optional, but recommended)
Pistachio Crunch (optional, but recommended)

Combine gingersnap crumbs and melted butter; stir well. Press crumb mixture into bottom and 1-inch up sides of a 10-ince springform pan. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 300°. Bring whipping cream to a simmer in a saucepan. Remove from heat, and pour over chocolate in a large bowl. Stir in mixture with a rubber spatula until smooth. Cool.

Beat cream cheese at high speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add sugar; beat well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Fold in chocolate mixture. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter into prepared crust.

Bake at 300° for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Gently run a knife around edge of cheesecake to release sides of pan; carefully remove pan. If desired, decorate cheesecake with Candied Cranberries and Pistachio Crunch.

Candied Cranberries

2½ cups sugar
1 cup hot water
¾ cup cranberry-apple juice
3½ cups fresh cranberries

Combine first 3 ingredients in a small non-aluminum saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat, and pour syrup mixture over cranberries in a medium-size heatproof bowl. Place bowl on a steamer rack in a large Dutch oven over simmering water. Cover and steam 30 minutes. Remove bowl of cranberries. Cool completely without stirring.

Cover bowl with cheesecloth; let stand at room temperature for 3 days, stirring occasionally. (Mixture will become thick.)

Transfer cranberries, using a slotted spoon, to a large mesh wire rack placed over a wax paper-lined jellyroll pan. Store cranberry syrup in a glass container in refrigerator for another use. Let fruit dry, uncovered for 2 to 3 days, turning occasionally. Reserve ¼ cup Candied Cranberries for use in Pistachio Crunch.

Note: candied cranberries can be prepared and refrigerated up to 1 week ahead.

Pistachio Crunch

12 ounces vanilla bark coating
1/3 cup chopped, toasted pistachio nuts
¼ cup candied cranberries, chopped
Melt candy coating in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Stir in nuts and cranberries. Spread mixture in a thick layer (about ¼ inch thick) on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Cool completely. Break into pieces or use Christmas cookie cutters to cut desired shapes.

Recipe courtesy of Southern Living’s Little Book of Cheesecakes.

I’ve tentatively commited to baking 8 more cheesecakes between now and Christmas (this first week in December I’ve already baked four).  Perhaps I should go into business . . . nothing like making an already busy schedule even busier!  Will I ever learn?  I seriously doubt it.  It doesn’t seem nearly as bad since these are labors of love (or so I keep telling myself).

Party on, Wayne!