This week's baking challenge was Sicilian Pistachio Cookies chosen by Deborah over at Old Shoes - New Trip. I'm not sure that I've ever even made cookie bars. I'm more of the drop, roll, press or cut type of cookie baker. So this was a new thing for me. I liked the idea that this would be easier to make than shaped cookies, but I somehow I managed to fuss over them just as much as if I was creating each individual one.
I followed the recipe exactly and made it easy on myself by buying a bag of already shelled pistachios. I found that the batter was stiff one and spreading it in the jelly roll pan was a challenge for me. I think it took longer to spread than it did to assemble the ingredients and make the batter. I did use an offset spatula as the recipe called for, and I think that helped. But getting it perfectly even, especially the corners just didn't happen for me. When I took it out of the oven and saw my ragged browned edges I thought they were a disaster.
But, as in baking, as in life, things are frequently not as bad as they seem at first. After they cooled and I started cutting them, I realized that is exactly the beauty of bar cookies. You can cut off the bad edges! Not only that, but you can nibble on those toasty edges and they taste pretty amazingly good. So, I proceeded to cut up my bars on the bias to give me diamond shaped cookies and I took a plate of 2 dozen to a garden party that day. Everyone loved them and they went very well with the mint ice tea that the hostess served.
Later that night I took another dozen over to my neighbors and my neighbor Harriet declared them wonderful. She really loved the buttery, nutty quality to them. I think they are a perfect tea cookie with subtle flavors of lemon and pistachio. And since I still have a bunch of odd ends and broken pieces, I plan on enjoying them later today with some tea. Thank you Deborah!