When I came across this recipe via the internet, I had the equivalent of a small hen house of egg whites in the freezer along with some shelled pistachios. This recipe is a variation of the one called Persian Pistachio-Cardamom Thins courtesy of Nancy Vaziri from Frankfort, IL. Makes about 60 cookies.
1 1/4 cups (about 5 3/4 ounces) shelled, unsalted pistachios
1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons green cardamom seeds, toasted and ground
1 1/4 cup egg whites (from 10 large eggs)
1 1/4 cups (5 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder (optional)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place pistachios in an oven-proof skillet or pan and toast them in the oven for about 10 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from oven and transfer them to a plate to cool. Grind in a mini-food processor to between medium and finely ground. Line a 12 x 17-inch jelly-roll pan with parchment paper.
Using the whisk attachment beat the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft peaks have formed. Add the sugar about 1 – 2 tablespoons at a time until egg whites are thick and glossy.
Mix together the ground cardamom, flour, salt and pistachios (and cocoa powder if using). With a large spatula fold into the egg whites just until combined. Using an off-set spatula, spread mixture into the prepared jelly-roll pan.
Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until firm to the touch and top is golden. Cool for about 5 to 6 minutes on a cooling rack.
Reduce oven temperature to 275ºF. Cut around the parameter of cookies and flip over onto a cutting board. With a sharp thin bladed knife, cut thin slices (1/2-inch thick, 3 3/4 inches long) and place on a large cookie sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until crisp, dry, and firm. Store in airtight container until ready to serve.
Photo by Ingrid Young