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Pistachio-Spice Cookies

Eggs are easier to separate when they are cold. Carefully crack each egg and, holding it over a bowl, pass the yolk back and forth between the shell halves, letting the whites fall into the bowl. Drop the yolk into a separate bowl, and transfer the whites to a third bowl. Separate each additional egg over the empty bowl, for if any speck of yolk gets into the whites, the whites will not whip up properly. If a yolk breaks, start fresh with a new egg. Egg whites will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or several months in the freezer.

Ingredients:

  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room
     temperature
  • 1 1⁄4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. dark molasses
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1⁄2 tsp. almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1⁄4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped unsalted pistachios

Directions:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on high speed until fluffy and pale yellow. Add the brown sugar and continue beating until the mixture is no longer gritty when rubbed between your finger and thumb. Add the molasses, egg yolks and almond extract and beat on medium speed or stir with a wooden spoon just until blended.

Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 4 additions, beating on low speed or stirring until blended after each addition. Mix or stir in the pistachios until evenly distributed. The dough will appear dry and crumbly.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press it into a round, smooth disk. Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a log about 6 inches long. Flatten and square off each log, making a rectangular shape about 6 inches long, 3 inches wide and 1 1⁄2 inches thick. Wrap each rectangle in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or preferably for 24 hours.

Preheat an oven to 325°F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

Using a sharp, thin knife, cut the chilled dough into slices 1⁄8 inch thick. Place the slices at least 1 inch apart on the prepared pans. Bake the cookies until the edges are golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let cool for 2 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the racks to cool completely.
Makes about 48 cookies.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Cookies, by Marie Simmons (Simon & Schuster, 2002).