Pistachio, Ginger and Lemon Cookies.

A few weeks ago I was asked by Whynut if I would like to try out some of their gorgeous nut products. I was sent a beautiful package of four different products to try out in my baking.  This I was really excited about as I love pistachio nuts and anything that they contain! My Mum loves pistachio ice cream as much as I do, so I thought all my Christmases had come at once when the parcel arrived.  

Whynut provides their customers with the finest quality nuts at great prices and these can be ordered via their website: www.whynut.co.uk.  They sell two different varieties of pistachio nuts; the early harvested peeled green kernels and a lightly salted version.  These are roasted and won a Great Taste Gold Award in 2012.  They also have a shelf life of 6 months.  The nuts can be ordered in sizes ranging from 100g up to 2.5kg.

Also apart from the packets of pistachio nuts, Whynut also make nut pastes which are 100% pure.  I had never come across pastes such as these before so I was thrilled to be able to test them out!  There are three varieties, their pistachio paste,  hazelnut paste and an almond paste. Both pastes are natural with no additives, E numbers or preservatives.

As well as selling their products online, Whynut also sell to other food manufacturers such as Simply Ice Cream. Another fan is Brendan Lynch who you will know as one of the finalists in The Great British Bake Off 2012. He also uses their nuts for his baking and says “There is no comparison to Whynut products on the High Street,”  I totally agree with that.

Here is the beautiful selection of Whynut products- a packet of early harvested peeled pistachios, a packet of roasted pistachios, a tub of pistachio paste and a tub of hazelnut paste.

So, what could I bake with this array of goodies?  It was difficult to choose but I wanted to make something that would go down well with everyone I knew.  I looked through my recipe books for inspiration and came across a cookie recipe in Signe Johansen’s Scandilicious Baking Book.  This was a book I had treated myself to a few weeks back but not got round to trying anything from it.  Then I found it, a recipe for some Lemon and Ginger cookies.  I always think Lemon and ginger works well with pistachios so thought that the packet of peeled early harvest pistachios would be a great addition to these cookies.

Here’s how they were made:

Here is the packet of early harvest peeled green pistachios that I used in the cookies. They were a pretty dark green colour which was a lovely contrast to the light colour of the cookies.
These cookies were made via a creaming method where the butter and sugar were creamed together first.
An egg was added to the mixture and beat in.
Then, flour, baking soda, vanilla extract, chopped stem ginger and the peeled zest of a lemon were folded in to the creamed mixture. Finally, the pistachios were added to the dough.

This cookie dough appeared a lot wetter than the cookie dough I usually make.  I wondered if it was because I usually use a rubbing in method.  Thankfully the dough did harden up a lot when it was in the fridge chilling for about half an hour.  I ended up making the cookies far too big, completely forgetting that they do expand a lot in the oven.  The recipe should have made about 20-30, I got about 16 out of the mixture!  Serves me right!

Here are the finished Pistachio, Ginger and Lemon Cookies. They tasted more cakey than cookie like to me and to be fair I didn’t like them. I think I would like to try this recipe combination again but to bake it as a rubbing in method to see if the texture changes. 

So, the verdict?  I tasted a couple of pistachio kernels before I tipped the rest in the dough and they were delicious.  I just wish I had baked them in a different recipe.  In the end, sadly the cookies did not get eaten.  My children don’t like pistachios (though that’s a good thing or I would NEVER get to try anything in our house!) My hubby just didn’t touch them and they went all soggy.  I had to throw them out which was a shame. I couldn’t eat them as I am on a diet (again!)

I am looking forward to baking with the other Whynut products I received, so watch this space for further blog posts!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

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