Pistachio Florentine Cookies
Sweet Pastry Dough:
2 ¾ cups / 330 g all-purpose flour
½ cup / 100 g granulated sugar
8 oz / 226 g unsalted butter
2 each / 40 g egg yolks
¼ cup / 58 g heavy cream
½ cup / 60 g pistachios, cut in half lengthwise
⅓ cup / 76 g heavy cream
3 tbsp /61 g mild-flavored honey, such as clover
3 tbsp / 40 g granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 oz / 30 g unsalted butter
3 tbsp / 24 g all-purpose flour
½ cup / 32 g dried cranberries
½ cup / 60 g whole pistachios, shelled
1 lemon, zested with a bar zester
Sweet Pastry Dough
Sift the flour in a large bowl. Stir in the sugar. Cut the butter into ½ inch (1 ¼ cm) pieces and toss with the flour until fully coated. Crumble the butter into the flour by rubbing it between your fingertips, lifting the pieces and letting it fall back down. Continue until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and heavy cream and pour into the flour mixture. Gather the dough together with your hands until it forms into a ball. Flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic. Chill until firm, at least two hours.
Adjust the oven rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 330 °F (165 °C).
For the cookies:
Divide the dough in half and return the remainder to the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 12 inches (30.0 cm) circle, about ¼ inch (6.5 mm) thick. Cut out four 5 ¼ inches (13.5 cm) circles leaving the scraps intact. Transfer the circles to a parchment lined baking sheet and prick the surface of the circles about ten times with the tines of a fork. Using a 1-inch (2.5 cm) cutter, cut out small circles from the scraps of the dough. Brush the edge of the larger circles with water and place the smaller circles, touching, around the entire edge to create a border. Chill until firm.
In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, stir together the cream, honey, and sugar. Using a small paring knife, split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the pulp and seeds with the back of the knife.
Add the scraping and the pod to the mixture. Add the butter and over medium heat bring the mixture to a boil without stirring, tilting and swirling the pan to ensure it cooks evening without coloring. Cooking for 5-6 minutes until it reaches 230 °F (110 °C). Remove from the heat and sift in the flour, whisking to combine. Remove the vanilla bean. Stir in the chopped pistachios.
Spoon the mixture into the center of the cookies and spread it out and fills into the border. Sprinkle dried cranberries and lemon zest on top of the sugar mixture. With the remainder of the caramel stir in the whole pistachios. Place one pistachio on the center of each small circle around the border. Using a spoon, decorate the cookies using the remaining sugar mixture by dipping it into the mixture and waving it over the cookie creating sugar threads.
Equipment: Food processor, rolling pin, medium bowl, 5 inches (13.5 cm) circle cutter, 1-inch (2.5 cm) circle cutter, pastry brush, saucepan, sheet tray, parchment paper.