chewy pistachio shortbread + lemon curd sandwiches

I adore the gorgeous green hue pistachios lend to whatever they pair with, whether it be a buttery biscuit or as a pesto rubbed into chicken. It’s vibrancy can brighten up any¬† dish, and they are fabulously delicious. Whilst craving a quick sweet last night, I envisaged something teaming with the fresh lemon curd I had made earlier in the week. Crispy and short, these biscuits were the perfect fit, and because the only thing better than a biscuit alone are biscuits with delicious things between them, right?

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I made a beeline for the kitchen, annoyed I hadn’t thought ahead and allowed the butter to come to room temperature for any upcoming baking. Then I found this recipe calling for cold butter, prompting a small victory dance. Said dance was repeated when I devoured the finished product. You’ll soon see why!

The silky lemon curd has the perfect acidity coupled with the buttery biscuit, and these babies are so light and more-ish you’ll be tempted to finish the entire batch, which is totally not what we did, honest. Lies aside, these make the perfect midweek treat, being quick, simple, and the best part, they only use one appliance: your trusty food processor.

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chewy pistachio shortbread + lemon curd sandwiches – makes approx 30 ‘sandwiches’, or if done in a half batch, 15

you’ll need…

pistachio shortbread – adapted from epicurious

  • 1.5 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup golden icing sugar (simply unrefined icing sugar, sub in regular icing sugar if you cannot find)
  • 1/2 cup unshelled/unsalted pistachios
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 170g chilled butter, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

lemon curd – adapted from Sweetapolita

  • 4-6 lemons, depending on their size/juiciness
  • 2 whole eggs plus 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup raw/golden caster sugar
  • 60g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

here’s what you do…

  1. For the shortbread, process flour, sugar, pistachios and salt until nuts are roughly chopped. Add butter, egg yolk and vanilla, processing until dough comes together into a moist ball.
  2. Weigh the dough, and divide equally in half. Roll each half into a 20x3cm log and wrap in cling film. Freeze for 30 minutes or until firm. For 30 cookies/15 sandwiches, use only one log. For 60 cookies/30 sandwiches, use both.
  3. Preheat oven to 160C (fan forced). Slice log into 0.5cm thick rounds and place onto a lined baking tray, baking until slightly golden on edges (approx 14 min). Cool on trays completely.
  4. For the lemon curd, finely zest lemons until you have 2 tsp of zest and set aside. Juice lemons until you have 160ml of juice. Place into a large heatproof bowl with the zest, eggs and egg yolks, sugar and butter.
  5. Bring a large saucepan to the boil with 1 inch of water (one that fits the heatproof bowl over the top snugly) and then turn down to a simmer. Place the bowl of lemon mixture on top and whisk constantly until thickened, approx 7-10min. To test if it’s ready, put a wooden spoon into the mix and see if it coats the back of the spoon, meaning it’s cooked. Strain into a large bowl, then place into sterilised jars.
  6. To assemble, spread curd onto cooled biscuits and sandwich with another biscuit. Enjoy!
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oat + choc chip cookies

I want to blame my pregnancy cravings for my need to have freshly baked cookies within reach at all times, but I know this desire exists equally as much when I am not with child. The making, the baking, the dipping in the milk…it’s all a fantasy of the cookie process that is often lingering in the forefront of my mind.

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But as you know, one cannot snack on sugary, so-calorie-high-it’ll-make-you-hallucinate cookies all the time for the simple fact it’s not good for you (and one’s teeth might fall out). Good for your soul, yes. Good for your insulin levels and general health, maybe not. So, I’m always trawling for recipes that allow me to bend the rules about just how many cookies I can ingest before I head steadily into a sugar coma. And of course, I’m always conscious about the nutrition side of things. Well, ladies and gents, these are my perfect little morsels of heaven.

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I’m truly not a fan of the super-sweet cookie, preferring a much more substantial kind, one that could double as an afternoon snack with a glass of milk, and keep me going ’til dinner. These oat cookies are sweet enough to satisfy your cravings, yet wholesome enough and not likely to spike your sugar levels. Oh, and you don’t even need stirring utensils! All you need is the one bowl and your two hands. I’ve amended the recipe from The Healthy Chef, simply to suit my own tastes and because I can’t leave well enough alone. I’m certain you’ll love these, especially when dunked into a tall glass of milk. If you prefer a more chewy cookie, decrease the sugar to 1/3 cup, although they’ll be slightly less sweet of course. I often make them with the lesser amount of sugar during the week for the kids and make a cheeky batch for the hubby and I with that just touch more sugar. We deserve it.

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oat + choc chip cookies – adapted from The Healthy Chef – makes 12 – wheat free (can be gluten free if oats are certified)

you’ll need…

  • 2 cups/200g rolled oats (traditional style)
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup rapadura sugar (decrease to 1/3 cup for a more chewy, less sweet cookie)
  • 60g melted butter
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g 70% cocoa choc chips

here’s what you do…

  1. Preheat oven to 150C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Combine all ingredients except the choc chips, mixing and squishing with your hands until the oats start to stick together. Let mixture rest for a few minutes to allow oats to soften.
  2. Add in the choc chips and mix through. Using an ice-cream or cookie scoop (or simply your hands) form into little mounds and place on the tray. You should have around 11 or 12. I use this OXO Cookie Scoop – it’s a lifesaver.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown, checking half way through. Allow to cool on the tray. Serve with a tall glass of milk, at any time of the day you see fit.