My 85-year old paternal grandmother refuses to accept Christmas gifts. Or if she does, you can be pretty sure to find the given item - be it a book, a lovely shawl or a pair of woollen socks - in your next birthday or Christmas parcel, which is both cute and embarrassing. So years ago we decided to give her presents she cannot pass on - a newspaper subscription, a bottle of medicinal brandy or something similar. This year I gave her a gift-wrapped bag of home-made pistachio and lemon shortbread to devour with her daily cup of tea infusion.
I think she liked them:)
Pistachio and lemon shortbread
Recipe adapted from Epicurious (Bon Appétit, May 2004)
Yields 24 pieces
350 ml plain flour
125 ml sugar
125 ml semolina/cream of wheat
100 grams butter
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
100 grams green pistachios, coarsely chopped
Heat the oven to 165°Celsius.
Butter a small square cake tin.
Mix flour, sugar and semolina in a bowl, add cold cubed butter and work through the dough with a knife until you've got fine crumbs. Add lemon zest and vanilla extracts, then work in the pistachios (this bit is best done with your hands).
Press the mixture into the cake tin, make indentions with a fork.
Bake at 165°Celsius for about 30-35 minutes, until the cookies are cooked but not yet browned.
Take out of the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, then cut into 24 squares.
Cool completely in the tin. Best kept at room temperature, covered with foil.
Eat within a few days.
PS I've made pistachio and lemon cookies before - check those out, too:)