Salted Pistachio Cookies with Cherries & Dark Chocolate

I daydream about being one of those people who sits at a writing desk all morning long, looking out an antique window across a foggy pasture.  I sit there until I hear my doorbell ring and then I leave my desk to welcome in a visitor who spontaneously dropped by for a cup of tea.  While my kettle heats I twist the lid off a ceramic jar filled with freshly baked cookies.  Cookies which I had baked for just such an occasion.  My guest and I chat over steaming cups of Earl Grey and eat cookies before lunch - because we can. 

Salted Pistachio Cookies with Cherries and Dark Chocolate {Pedantic Foodie}

In reality, I make cookies, I take pictures of them, and I give them to anyone and everyone I happen to meet.  My purse is a makeshift cookie jar.  Though reality does not include as many leisurely mornings and casual callers as I would wish, it does include cookies and lovely people with whom I can share them.

Salted Pistachio Cookies with Cherries and Dark Chocolate {Pedantic Foodie}

Cookies are so much fun to share, especially when they are packed with buttery pistachios, sweet dried cherries and lots of dark chocolate.

Salted Pistachio Cookies with Cherries and Dark Chocolate {Pedantic Foodie}

I like to chop my chocolate before folding it into the cookie dough.  This ensures that every bite of cookie has chocolate running through it.  Rich, roasted pistachios make these cookies extra buttery and a healthy dose of salt perfectly balances the sweetness of the chewy dried cherries. 

Salted Pistachio Cookies with Cherries & Dark Chocolate {Pedantic Foodie}

Cookies have so many wonderful qualities, one being that they beg for creativity.  You can add practically anything to a cookie and it will be delicious.  Pistachios can be exchanged for pecans.  If you happen to have some dried cranberries laying around they can easily take the place of cherries.  

Dark chocolate can be substituted with…well, why would you want to replace chocolate?  

Salted Pistachio Cookies with Cherries & Dark Chocolate {Pedantic Foodie}

Cookies can help us get through the toughest of Wednesdays.  

 

Sincerely, 

   Pedantic Foodie 

Salted Pistachio Cookies with Cherries and Dark Chocolate 

makes about 2 dozen

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt 
  • 1 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup roasted and unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

In the bowl of your stand-mixer beat butter for 1 minute  Add sugars and beat for several minutes, until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg.  

In a large bowl whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking soda.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet in four installments; beating well after each addition.  After all the dry ingredients have been added, fold in dark chocolate, pistachios, and dried cherries.  

Portion the cookie dough into 1-ounce balls and place several inches apart on a lined baking sheet lined with parchment.  Bake for 9-10 minutes or until the edges are deep golden brown.  Transfer the warm cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool.  Enjoy!

Roasted Pear and Rosemary Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

Sometimes I stare at my little green notebook and all its empty lines eagerly waiting for me to fill them.  Sometimes my mind races with amazingly creative ideas, but most times I look at those little blank lines and all I can write is, "cake, cake, cake and tea…"  

Roasted Pear and Rosemary Cake with Brown Butter Glaze {Pedantic Foodie}

As the weather begins to cool my kettle begins to boil.  When the gray mid-afternoon arrives and my fingers begin to prance about my keyboard a little more slowly than they should, and my eyelids grow heavier with each blink, I know tea time has officially arrived.  

Sometimes my tea feels a little lonely, sitting on my dark-stained tray with the brass fox handles, and those are the times when cake is obligatory. 

Roasted Pear and Rosemary Cake with Brown Butter Glaze {Pedantic Foodie}

I wanted this cake to be dense yet moist, and to capture those soft, aromatic, flavors of September which the crisp air has been bringing to my mind every time I walk out of my door.  This cake is the perfect companion for your lonely cups of afternoon tea.

We begin with roasted pears.  These pears meet with a mixture of warm spices, rosemary and brown sugar before hitting the oven, where they will be roasted until they are caramelized perfection. 

Roasted Pear and Rosemary Cake with Brown Butter Glaze {Pedantic Foodie}

Our roasted pears are pureed and folded into the cake batter.  The pear puree gives this cake a wonderful amount of moisture and an incredible texture. 

Roasted Pear and Rosemary Cake with Brown Butter Glaze {Pedantic Foodie}

After the cake has baked and cooled, brown butter glaze is drizzled and walnuts are sprinkled.

Incidentally, brown butter glaze has the power to make anything and everything irresistibly delicious. 

Roasted Pear and Rosemary Cake with Brown Butter Glaze {Pedantic Foodie}

For our long, September afternoons… 

Roasted Pear and Rosemary Cake with Brown Butter Glaze {Pedantic Foodie}

Sincerely, 

  Pedantic Foodie

 

Roasted Pear and Rosemary Cake with Brown Butter Glaze 

roasted pears

  • 4 medium Bosc pears, peeled and quartered 
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg 
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves stripped from the stem

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

In a small bowl whisk to combine allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Toss pear quarters in the spice and sugar mixture and add rosemary. 

Spread the pear mixture out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Bake for 10 minutes or until the pears are soft and caramelized.  

Allow the pears to cool before transferring to the work bowl of your food processor.  Pulse several times until the pears are thoroughly pureed.  

brown butter glaze

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter 
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream 

Place butter in a small saucepan and melt over medium high heat.  Once the butter has melted cook for several minutes until the butter deepens in color and reaches dark amber.  Remove from heat.  

In a small bowl combine butter, confectioner’s sugar, and heavy cream. Whisk thoroughly to create a smooth glaze.  Stir in vanilla extract. 

cake and assembly

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 3 large eggs 
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat a bunt pan with nonstick baking spray and dust with flour.

Sift to combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  

In a large bowl whisk eggs.  Whisk in milk and pear puree, then stir in the melted butter.  Fold in the sifted dry ingredients and walnuts.  

Pour cake batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 50 minutes or until the top of the cake is deep golden in color. 

Allow to cool before removing from pan.  Drizzle the brown butter glaze over the cooled cake, allow the glaze several minutes to set before serving.  Enjoy!

My Cup of Tea, or um, Coffee Actually...

This week was the first week of September.  *screams of joy*

My heart leaps at the slightest sign of autumn.  Something about it, everything about it, fills me with vigor and excitement.  It is the proverbial Disney World of nature.  

I purchase obscene amounts of Fall-scented paraphernalia.  Body wash that smells like my spice cabinet?  Oh yes…  Oversized flannel shirts which I may have stealthily purchased from the men's section make up a major part of my wardrobe. Pumpkin finds its way into ninety-eight percent of what comes out of my oven and I watch You’ve Got Mail at least once a week, maybe twice.  I am still waiting for the day when someone brings me a bouquet of sharpened pencils.

Cinnamon Cafe au Lait  {Pedantic Foodie}

A couple weeks ago I spent some time in the mountains.  I got up-close and personal with some lovely, tired trees who were just waking up to the foggy morning.  Their leaves were heavy with dew and their "morning breath" permeated the air with fresh odiferous mountain air.  It was mid-August and far from Autumn but I couldn't help feeling that Fall was trying to make her coming known. 

Cinnamon Cafe au Lait {Pedantic Foodie}

Cool, crisp, mornings make me long for one thing.  My very own cup of September, if you will.  Cinnamon cafe au lait.  It is creamy and spicy with the robust background of strong coffee.  It is the "Good Morning" to top all "Good Mornings."   

Cinnamon Cafe au Lait {Pedantic Foodie}

Perhaps a recipe for coffee seems a bit unvarying to you.  I get it, but this cup of coffee truly is something special.  Cafe au lait means "coffee with milk," but it is so much more.  

Cinnamon Cafe au Lait {Pedantic Foodie}

Our cup of September begins with scalded milk.  This just means that we heat the milk just below the boiling point.  I add a healthy dose of cinnamon and a bit of sugar to my milk before it hits the stove top.  

Meanwhile, our coffee is brewing, French-press style.  

Cinnamon Cafe au Lait {Pedantic Foodie}

 I brew my coffee extra strong for this cup so that it will hold up to the milk.  

Coffee is poured, milk is frothed, cinnamon is dusted.  This is something worth waking up for.  

Cinnamon Cafe au Lait {Pedantic Foodie}

I want every moment to be this moment.  This feels like the perfect way to welcome September back into our lives.  

 

Sincerely, 

   Pedantic Foodie

Cinnamon Cafe au Lait 

serves two 

for the coffee 

  • 3 tablespoons freshly ground coffee 
  • pinch of salt*
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water 

In a French press combine ground coffee and salt.  Pour boiling water over the grounds and stir gently.  Wait five minutes before pressing.  

for the milk

  • 3/4 cup whole milk 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 

In a small saucepan combine milk, sugar, and cinnamon.  Heat over medium-high heat, stirring often.  Cook until the milk is steaming and has reached a simmer; remove from heat.  Froth the milk using an electric milk frother.  

Divide the brewed coffee between two cups.  Top with frothed milk and dust with cinnamon.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy! 

*A bit of salt helps to counteract any bitterness in the coffee.