It’s that time of the year! It’s Christmas time again and for me that means it’s time for some much loved Christmas cooking. I love cooking all year round but when Christmas time finally arrives I truly relish, celebrate and take even more pleasure in my cooking. Whether I’m making Christmas cookies, chocolate truffles, rocky road, cranberry sauce or my much loved Christmas pavlova I am in a state of complete Christmas bliss.
I am very happy to announce that from now until Christmas I am going to be sharing with you my beloved Christmas recipes! And trust me, I have plenty! I completely and unashamedly throw myself into the Christmas spirit by way of the kitchen and I hope my recipes over the coming weeks will inspire you too!
Today with Christmas cooking running rampantly through my mind I had to bake some of my all time favourite Christmas cookies! Christmas is incomplete without cookies. They are an absolute must have! Although many people opt for the ginger and spiced spiked versions of cookies at this time of the year I go completely in the other direction.
I know that gingerbread is a wonderful Christmas tradition but here is sunny Brisbane the thought of a warm, cosy, nurturing spiced biscuits at this time of the year is the last thing on my mind. Nope, when our days are long as they are hot I must have a lighter Christmas spirit filled cookie, one that is delicate, zesty and sweet and my lemon and pistachio Christmas cookies are a perfect example.
These lemon and pistachio Christmas cookies are wonderful. They are filled with the summery scent of lemon that sneaks from the oven as they bake filling the house with the festive aromas of Christmas cookies.
When it comes to Christmas cookie decoration I know many people travel down the ‘everything must be red and green’ road but for me it just doesn’t seem right. In Australia our Christmas falls during Summer time, our days are long and hot and the traditional festive decorations (and food) don’t suit our climate. Rather than forcing tradition I opt to embrace a new, fresher type of take on Christmas and take my cues from the gorgeousness offered up by summer which is reflected in the way I decorated my lemon and pistachio Christmas cookies. These cookies were given a thick coating of luscious lemon icing and bejewelled with crushed green and purple speckled pistachios, which to me oozes all things summer. And I have to admit the baby pastel yellow icing and green pistachios look so beautiful nestled against each other. All in all I adore using summer time motifs to celebrate Christmas, it just feels right.
These lemon and pistachio cookies are a great way to begin your Christmas cooking, they’re simple to prepare, a dream to decorate and instantly add a little Christmas cheer to your kitchen, home and heart. Enjoy, K x.
Lemon and Pistachio Christmas Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
5 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup shelled unsalted pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped
Whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Put butter and granulated sugar into the bowl of a food processor and blitz until pale and fluffy. Add yolks, lemon zest, and vanilla and pulse until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, pulse after each addition to combine. Shape the mixture into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Roll out to a generous 0.5 cm thick. Using a Christmas cookie cutter, cut out shapes and place on a lined baking tray. Reroll scraps, and cut out until all dough is used. Bake until just golden, about 12 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks.
Stir together icing sugar, butter and lemon juice in a small bowl. Using a butter knife, thinly ice each cookie and sprinkle with pistachios. Let set on wire racks.