Sugar cookies are often plain, with just a hint of vanilla and butter flavoring to them. But a sugar cookie can actually be a great background for other flavors, allowing them to really stand out in. The dough worked out particularly well with these White Chocolate and Pistachio Sugar Cookies, where the light cookies set off both the colors and the flavors of the two mix-ins.
Putting white chocolate chips and pistachio nuts into a sugar cookie was an impulsive decision on my part. I was munching through a big bag of roasted, salted pistachio nuts in my kitchen one day when I started to think about incorporating them into a new recipe, rather than just continuing to eat them as they were. Although they’re not used as often in baking recipes as walnuts or pecans seem to be, pistachios are very versatile nuts that add a lot of flavor – and, of course, a lot of color – to anything they’re included in. In this case, the roasted and salted pistachios contrasted very well with the sweet, creamy white chocolate chips I used.
The cookies themselves are light and crisp, and will keep just a slight hint of chewiness at the center if you don’t let the the cookies brown too much in the oven as they bake. The nuts have a lot of flavor, since they’re toasted before going into the cookies, and the hint of salt that they had (I really recommend using roasted and salted for these cookies!) provided just the right counter to the sweetness of the cookies and the white chocolate.
White Chocolate and Pistachio Sugar Cookies
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup roasted, salted pistachio nuts
1 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla until smooth.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually blend flour mixture into butter mixture, stirring until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Stir in pistachios and white chocolate chips.
Drop 1-inch balls of dough onto prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between cookies to allow for spread.
Bake for 11-14 minutes, until edges of the cookies are light golden brown. Cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 3 dozen.