Tag: cookbook

Pistachio Rosewater Tea Cakes

Pistachio Rosewater Tea Cakes // Serious Crust

Pistachio Rosewater Tea Cakes // Serious Crust
Pistachio Rosewater Tea Cakes // Serious Crust

During the holiday season, all I want to do is make cookies. All of the cookie recipes I’ve been eyeing throughout the year, this seems like the time to make them. I want chocolate cookies, I want mint crinkles, I want pecan shortbreads, I want soft sugar cookies decorated with frosting designs, I want ginger snaps. Maybe this is why I always add a layer this time of year? Maybe.

I recently bought a bottle of rosewater (mostly because there’s this dish in Jerusalem (the cookbook)- swordfish with harissa and rose – that I had once and I’ve been wanting to make it again), and it had been sitting on my pantry shelf, looking pretty but also lonely. And then I came across this recipe for “Pistachio Rosewater Snowball Cookies” in the latest issue of Kinfolk Magazine. They sounded like a beautiful twist on what some people call Mexican wedding cookies or Russian Tea Cakes or any other number of cookies: nutty with pistachio, and aromatic and floral from the cardamom and rose.

After making the recipe from Kinfolk, I made a few small changes to the recipe, and I wanted to share them with you. I thought the original was a little heavy on the rosewater, and a little light on the cardamom (though my roommates and Jonah really enjoyed them as they were). They’re buttery and crumbly. They’re sweet but with a unique flavor with them. And they smell beautiful.

Pistachio Rosewater Tea Cakes

Note: I found rosewater with the cocktail mixers at my local grocery store. It might also be in with the extracts in the baking aisle. If not, you can find it online.

Second note: Before you invest in making this recipe, you should definitely read through this recipe, and know that 1) pistachios are pricey, especially if you buy them already shelled and 2) there is a lot of kind of annoying pistachio prep. You’ve been warned.


1 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
2 cups plus 2 Tbl all purpose flour
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1 cup (2 sticks) butter unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 tsp rosewater


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment, or butter them.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, and blanch the pistachios for 1 minute. Drain them, and place them on a clean dish towel. Fold the dish towel over the pistachios and rub off the skins. (There may be some stubborn ones that you need to peel off.) Spread them in a small baking dish and roast them in the oven until they’re just dry, about 8 minutes. Set them aside and allow them to cool. When they are cool, pulse in a food processor or blender until they’re finely ground, but definitely not a paste. Transfer them to a small mixing bowl and whisk together with the flour, cardamom, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together 1 cup of the powdered sugar and the butter until pale and fluffy. Add the rosewater, and mix it in. With the mixer on low, add in the pistachio flour mixture and mix just until a dough forms, scarping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Roll the dough into 1-1.5 inch balls. Arrange at least 1 inch apart on the pan, and bake until they’re just golden on the bottom, ~20 minutes (mine took a little less). While the cookies are baking, pour the remaining cup of powdered sugar into a wide bowl. Remove the cookies from the oven, allow them to cool from a minute or two, and when they’re cool enough to handle, roll them in the powdered sugar. Allow to cool the rest of the way on a wire race.

Weekend Finds 3:16:14: Interesting Reads

In this weekend finds, I want to share some interesting articles that I’ve come across in the past couple of weeks. If you’re interesting in reading more articles about food, food writing, etc. I recommend using resources like Bloglovin’, Klout, and also following David Lebovitz on Facebook (seriously, the guy posts some very interesting articles).

1. Culinary Medical School

Culinary Medical Program on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Culinary Medical Program at Tulane University

I remember when I wanted to be a doctor. And now, I want to be a professional foodie. There have been more and more experts connecting the diet and health, and for obvious reasons. But mostly those people seem to be nutritionists or homeopathic doctors. I think it’s great that this culinary medical program at Tulane University in New Orleans is connecting the health world and the food world, and incorporating nutrition and cooking into the medicual curriculum.

2. Most Useful Cookbooks

Best Useful Cookbooks on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Best useful Cookbooks

I like this article from HuffPost Taste about the best, most useful cookbooks to have on your shelf. Of course The Joy of Cooking and Mastering the Art of French Cooking make the list. But so does the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Also, I REALLY want the Flavor Thesaurus. But if you’re looking for some great basics to start building your kitchen literature collection, check out this article.

3. Ferran Adrià on his new projects

Ferran Adrià and Bullipedia on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Ferran Adrià and Bullipedia

This article summarizing a stop on Adrià’s book tour is pretty interesting. His answers to questions about defining cooking and restaurants and creativity are fascinating, but the part the piqued my interest the most? His upcoming culinary museum, the lab inside, and the culinary wiki, Bullipedia, that he’s creating. That is going to be the coolest resource ever. (Also, as I was telling Jonah about this article, the guy next to us at the coffee shop where we’re working, looked up and asked us if we’d seen the documentary about El Bulli. I have, but if you haven’t, you should. It’s on Netflix Instant Watch.)

4. Food Blaggers

Food Blaggers on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Food Blaggers

This article about the role food bloggers play in the restaurant review world is very interesting (I found it via David Lebovitz’s Facebook page). The thought of calling a restaurant and asking for a free meal in exchange for a positive review is mind boggling to me. That being said, I have received free meals and such, and there has never been and explicit request for a review in exchange. I always mention that I was invited, so on and so forth. But the line is certainly a little blurry. It’s something I’m working on clarifying for myself. Anyway, I find it all very interesting. Do you have any thoughts on the blogger/restaurant/PR company relationship?

Weekend Finds 3:1:14: Kitchen Art

I’ve made a decision. Sometimes, when my weekend finds have a theme, I will title them as such. Isn’t that sensible? I thought, hm, maybe I could collect all the cool kitchen art and share it with readers all at once, so that if they’re looking for kitchen art, they can look at one post? Or perhaps if they’re looking for some fun wooden spoons, all of those are in one place? Or perhaps, if there are some kitchens I’m lusting to cook in, I can show them all to you at once? I’m not saying all of my weekend finds from here on out will have a theme. But when the time is right, they might. I hope that’s alright. This week, as I mentioned, I’m obsessed with kitchen art.

1. Radicchio Vegetable Print

Kitchen Art: Radicchio Print // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Radicchio print, found on Design*Sponge.

I really like a lot of prints from this shop on Etsy, but I love love love this radicchio print. I discovered it via Design*Sponge, and keep plotting a way I can have it, and where I can put it.

2. Sugarboo Postcards

Kitchen Art: Radish postcard from Sugarboo // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
“You’re so rad(ish)”

I really like postcards, and I have always thought it would be fun to get postcards separately framed and hang a grid of them on a large-ish wall. I think some of these food and friend related ones from Sugarboo are so sweet. My favorite has to be the radish postcard pictured above.

3. Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

Kitchen Art: "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" print // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Tomato, tom-ah-to, potato, pot-ah-to…

Yes, that’s the name of this print from Society 6. Yes, I’ve been pining after this print for years. It combines old music (remember how much I’ve mentioned my Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong Pandora station?) and food, and I just think it’s so sweet. I would hang it anywhere, but feel it would be perfect in a kitchen.

4. Illustrated Recipes from Felicita Sala

Kitchen Art: Illustrated Recipe for Banana Bread // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
These illustrated recipes are so sweet.

I think these illustrated recipes are so sweet. I’d love to have one on my wall – I love the mixture of text and drawings. The best part: it’s functional too!

5. Cutting Boards

Kitchen Art: Cutting boards! // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
There are almost too many options when it comes to beautiful cutting boards.

Not all your kitchen art has to bed 2D. Speaking of functional decorations, there are some beautiful cutting boards out there – some vintage like this one, some modern like these. Maybe these state shaped cutting boards are more your style. Or these chevron ones. Just make sure, if you’re going to try something heavy, that you secure it safely to the wall with a nice sturdy hook or nail. Most of these have holes or straps, or I’m sure they could be easily added.

6. Prints from your favorite blog/cookbook

Kitchen Art: Smitten Kitchen Photographs // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
I love this pomegranate photo from Smitten Kitchen.

You might be surprised to find that some of your favorite blogs might be selling their prints, or if they aren’t already, they might be willing to if you contact them and ask them reeeeaaaally nicely. For example, love Smitten Kitchen’s photos? You can find some for sale here.

Friday Finds 6:21:13

This week’s Friday finds revolves a lot around family, as I spent last weekend in Seattle for Father’s Day:

1. La Bête, Seattle, WA

La Bête, Seattle, WA // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

We went to La Bête for brunch on Father’s Day, and wow, let me tell you, it was wonderful. Beautiful space, delicious food, great staff… everything about it was just lovely. I have also heard great things about dinner, so if you’re in the Seattle area, you should absolutely go to this spot.

2. Wine Tasting in Woodinville (specifically Ross Andrew)

Ross Andrew Winery // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Photo Credit Ross Andrew Winery

On Father’s Day, after brunch, we went wine tasting in Woodinville, WA. I’ve never been wine tasting before, but I must say I really enjoyed myself. When I get rich, I’ll go all the time, and I’ll buy all the wine. My favorite tasting room we visited was Ross Andrew – check out their Red Blend and their Meadow White Wine.

3. Apricots, peaches, and nectarines, oh my!

Broiled Apricots // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

The stone fruits have arrived and I could not be more excited! I have made these super easy broiled apricots twice now, and I have a feeling I’ll be making them and variations on them many times this summer. Recipe coming soon! Other recipes to check out include this apricot and basil tart, this grilled peach crumble, and this nectarine galette.

4. Sayulita, Mexico

Sayulita, Mexico // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Photo Credit Ashley Gordon via National Geographic

My mom booked a place in Sayulita, Mexico in October, and Jonah and I will be joining her for a week (the week of my birthday! also the week of dia de los muertos!). We booked our tickets this week, and all I can think about is laying on the beach, drinking margaritas, and eating tamales. This would all be fine, if the trip weren’t 5 months away. Ah, the waiting game.

5. A Platter of Figs by David Tanis

A Platter of Figs by David Tanis // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Photo Credit Hamptons Magazine

I bought A Platter of Figs while up in Seattle, and the recipes look so lovely. David Tanis is a head chef at Chez Panisse, and has a lot of the same theories about food as Alice Waters and Tamar Adler – simple is good, you don’t need to have a specific recipe (he has lots of suggested variations accompanying his recipes), cooking and eating well are good, etc. What really caught my eye about the book was the photos and the pages. They aren’t glossy, and the photos are really rustic and beautiful. Take a look at it next time you’re at the bookstore.