I love thinking about what I’m going to make for Dark Side of the Spoon – my monthly feature about all things devilishly indulgent, and laced with dark chocolate. I frequently go into whole reveries about the magical qualities of dark chocolate, and the flavours it works so well alongside – from tart raspberries to fragrant lavender and salty but sweet caramel. But it wasn’t until I got a delivery of beautiful nibbed pistachios from my wonderful local Persian deli that an idea began to form itself in my mind. And over time, it grew to become these amazingly moreish Dark Chocolate and Pistachio Cookies.
I think you’re going to love these. Why? Well, set aside for a moment the fact that they are both gluten and fat free, and conceal a deliciously gooey interior under their perfectly crackled and shiny exterior.
For me, the unbeatable thing about these cookies is the fact that you can go from thinking ‘oh, I really fancy some chocolate’ to shoveling hot, melty morsels of chocolatey pistachio-laced cookie into your mouth in 15 minutes. That’s right, 15 minutes. In fact, there’s a good chance you’ve got all of the ingredients in your store cupboard already. When I made these the first time and told K I was off to bake some cookies, by the time he popped into the kitchen to see if I’d started making them, they were done.
And for me, that is a seriously enticing quality in a cookie.
If your oven is at floor height like mine is, then I would just add that you may want to pull yourself up a chair before you start making these little beauties. You see, they cook so quickly that you’re going to want to watch them like a hawk so you can catch them at just the right moment – when the tops have just turned shiny and crackled.
This is where the chair comes in. The first time I made these I spent the whole 8 minutes sitting cross legged by the oven door, watching my cookies like a hungry cat watching a tormented goldfish in a bowl! Now I’ll do it from the comfort of my chair, transfixed as my cookies transform in front of my eyes. But don’t worry, you won’t be sitting there for long – and frankly, when you’re in the throes of a chocolate craving, where else would you rather be?!
- 320g icing sugar
- 125g cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 egg whites
- 50g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 50g chopped pistachios + 25g extra to top
- Preheat the oven to 180C and line two large baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
- Place the icing sugar, cocoa and salt into a large mixing bowl, and whisk to combine.
- Add the egg whites, dark chocolate, vanilla extract and chopped pistachios, and stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon until a smooth batter is formed.
- Take two teaspoons, and use them to drop heaped teaspoons of batter onto your lined baking sheets - leaving about 5cm between each cookie.
- Sprinkle a little of your reserved chopped pistachios onto the top of each cookie, then bake in the preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until the top has just turned shiny.
- Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets, then serve.