It’s Labor Day weekend, which for me is the official start of Christmas Cookie vetting season! I’m very much a season-oriented person, and since we pretty much skip over autumn here in Southern California (to my unending dismay), I’m focusing my attention on the buildup to the winter holidays, for which I am already planning an extensive, multi-day menu.
This year is special but bittersweet, as it’s the first time in my adult life that I will celebrate Christmas and New Year’s at my own place with my boyfriend, R. Typically we alternate the holidays between my family in Ohio and his family in the UK, but numerous life and travel circumstances are allowing us to stay home this year, so I’m flexing my holiday homemaking muscles in advance.
R is very festive (and historically I haven't been), so I’m going to need to bring my A game to match his level of Christmas enthusiasm. This means I'll be plying him with Christmas movies, and a combination of festive homemade treats and his favorite imported British junk foods.
We'll also incorporate some new SoCal traditions, including going to the beach on Christmas Day, and Instagramming our cats wearing ugly sweaters. I’ll probably make at least one gluten-free batch of cookies, which we will eat while contemplating the oppressive consumerist culture that starts badgering us as early as October. Then, we’ll watch Elf!!
These cookies come from Two Peas and Their Pod. I followed the recipe almost exactly except I chilled the dough for a couple of hours, measured slightly smaller scoops (I ended up with 30 cookies) and shortened the bake time by about a minute. I always do a test batch of one or two cookies to nail down my bake time before I do a full sheet.
I used a bag of dark chocolate chunks that I roughly chopped - this produces larger, chip-sized chocolate chunks along with little shavings and dusty bits that incorporate into the dough and give it a really pretty visual texture. You can use regular dark or bittersweet chocolate chips instead if you want to simplify.
Sea Salt Pistachio Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies (minimally adapted from Two Peas And Their Pod)
Makes 25-30 cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped pistachios, shells removed
1 cup chopped dark chocolate
Sea salt, for sprinkling on cookies
1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
2. Using a mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, add in the dry ingredients a half cup at a time. Mix until just incorporated.
3. Stir in the pistachios and chocolate chunks. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap and set in the fridge to chill for two hours, up to overnight.
4. Using a spoon or cookie scoop, form tablespoon size balls of cookie dough. Place balls on ungreased baking sheet , about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle cookie dough balls with sea salt. Bake cookies for 10-11 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.
5. Enjoy with eggnog and my favorite Christmas movie.