These savory cocktail cookies are studded with colorful pistachios and suffused with the exotic lilt of orange blossom. They’re as elegant in appearance as they are in taste. A perfect accompaniment to a martini.–Kathy Casey
LC That Perfect Little Something Note
This sweetly savory nibble is for those times when you want to set out that perfect little something for guests as they linger over a cocktail or a glass of wine. That something, if indeed it is to be perfect, can be tricky. It needs to be a little more innovative than the requisite olives and nuts, not so labor-intensive as a proper hors d’oeuvre, only mildly filling yet completely satiating, somewhat surprising, doable in advance, and able to complement but not conquer an apéritif. Here it is.
To make the pistachio-orange cocktail cookies, stat by preheating the oven to 325° F (162°C).
Spread the pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool, then coarsely chop.
With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, feta, sugar, orange zest, and orange flower water, if desired, until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine the flours. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture and combine, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the milk and mix just until incorporated. Mix in the cooled chopped pistachios.
Divide the dough in half and shape each portion into a log about 6 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap, twisting the ends of the plastic to help form the dough. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or freeze for about 30 minutes, until the dough is firm. (The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; refrigerate overnight before slicing and baking as directed.)
Preheat the oven to 325° F (162°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Slice the log of dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and place the rounds about 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. Sprinkle lightly with the salt. Bake for about 12 to 14 minutes, depending on the size, until the cocktail cookies are lightly golden on the bottom and still pale on top. Let cool. The cocktail cookies will remain fresh for up to a five days in an airtight container.
For the holidays, I love keeping anything in the freezer that’s ready to slice and bake at a moment’s notice. At first, I questioned the ingredients in this recipe, but they yielded nibbles that were great with a glass of wine before dinner. These will definitely stay in my freezer for a fast appetizer when the holidays arrive!