Lime and Pistachio Shortbread Sandwich Cookies with Lime Cream


 
Buttery Pistachio and lime shortbread, sandwiched with a zesty lime cream. #shortbread #lime #Sandwichcookie
Buttery Pistachio and lime shortbread, sandwiched with a zesty lime cream. #shortbread #lime #Sandwichcookie
Buttery Pistachio and lime shortbread, sandwiched with a zesty lime cream. #shortbread #lime #Sandwichcookie
Buttery Pistachio and lime shortbread, sandwiched with a zesty lime cream. #shortbread #lime #Sandwichcookie
Buttery Pistachio and lime shortbread, sandwiched with a zesty lime cream. #shortbread #lime #Sandwichcookie
Buttery Pistachio and lime shortbread, sandwiched with a zesty lime cream. #shortbread #lime #Sandwichcookie
Buttery Pistachio and lime shortbread, sandwiched with a zesty lime cream. #shortbread #lime #Sandwichcookie

Hiii I'm just popping in to share this recipe quickly! I made these the longest time ago, shot and edited the photos, posted on IG and promised the recipe, then promptly forgot about the whole thing. Soz. 

These came about after I saw Edd making lemon cream on his stories to put in some beautiful wee lemon tarts, and because I suffer from intense internet fomo, I had to try it myself immediately. I wasn't doing food things when lemon cream broke the internet a few years ago, so like most things, I am very late to the party (the article I got the recipe from was written in 2012, lololol), but I'm gonna give you this recipe anyway. 

Lemon cream (or in this case, lime cream), is a crazy wee thing. It is essentially a curd, but with a slightly different process. Instead of putting everything in a pan at the beginning and cooking until thick, you heat all of the ingredients, apart from the butter to a certain temp, then let it cool slightly, before emulsifying the butter in with an immersion blender. The result is this insanely creamy, thick cream (hence the name), which is as punchy as curd, but has enough structure to use as a filling or frosting, or spooned directly into your mouth (apparantely, anyway). I'm not sure I'm going to be able to go back to regular curd after this. Cream definitely is more labour intensive, but it is 100 times worth it. 

Seeing as I had a beautiful punchy filling, I wanted to keep the biscuit component of this simple. I went for a quick and easy shortbread, adapted from Helen Goh and Ottolenghi's book Sweet, which is one of my faves. The shortbread has a hint of lime, and the taste of pistachio compliments the filling perfectly. 

A few wee tips:

  • Make the Lime Cream the day before to give it time to thicken. The dough needs an overnight rest in the fridge too!

  • The Lime cream takes a while. Make sure you bring it right up to 180˚f / 80˚c. This will make sure that it is thick enough so that when it cools, it gets super thick.

  • That being said, it will look super sloppy when you finish emulsifying the butter. Don't worry - just bang it in the fridge overnight, and it will thicken nicely!

  • These are best eaten the day of, but leftovers keep well separately, so just assemble just before you eat! I ended up eating them a bit like chips and dip toward the end - using the cookie as a scoop. Tragic but delicious. Would definitely recommend.

  • If you don't have a sugar thermometer, you should get one asap! I have a digital one with an alarm that I love!

  • The cookies will probably have a 'right' side and a 'wrong' (bottom) side when they are done - make sure that you have both the right sides facing out when you sandwich the cookies, so their bottoms are facing inward and you have the pretty tops facing out!

 

 

Lime and Pistachio Shortbread Sandwich Cookies with Lime Cream 

- Makes about 20 Sandwich Cookies -

Shortbread Recipe adapted from Sweet, Lime cream adapted from Tartine

Lime Cream
150ml lime juice (1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp) 
3 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
150g (3/4 cup) sugar
Pinch salt
225g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Lime and Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
185g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g sugar
zest of 3 limes
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
50g unsalted pistachios, finely ground
250g all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

 

- PROCESS -

LIME CREAM

Create a 'double boiler' by placing a medium pot of water over a medium heat, and bringing to a simmer. Place a heatproof glass or stainless steel bowl over the pot, making sure that the bowl does NOT touch the water. 

Combine the lime juice, egg yolks, eggs, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl, whisking together immediately to stop the sugar from cooking the egg yolks. 

Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it reaches 180˚f / 80˚c. This may take some time (approx 15 minutes). Be patient, and make sure you do bring it right up to the required temperature. 

Remove the bowl from the heat, and set aside, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is 140˚f / 60˚c. Strain through a sieve into a clean mixing bowl. Add the butter, a chunk at a time, blending well with an immersion blender until completely combined before adding the next chunk. Alternatively you can do this in a blender. The cream should be pale and thick by the time you are finished. 

Transfer to an airtight container, press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the cream, and cover. Refrigerate overnight, or until ready to use. 

 

LIME AND PISTACHIO SHORTBREAD

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and lime zest until pale and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks and vanilla, and beat until combined. Add the ground pistachios, and mix until incorporated. Add the flour and salt, and mix briefly until a dough forms. 

Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, and shape into a rough rectangle. Wrap tightly, and refrigerate overnight.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge, and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes in order for it to be easier to roll. Divide the dough in two, and roll out to approx 1/4" or 5mm thick. Cut out 2.5" circles, and arrange on the baking sheets. Re-roll scraps to cut out extra cookies.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until set and the edges are beginning to go golden. I tend to do one sheet at a time because my oven can only handle that, but if yours can do two, then you can bake both at once - you may have to adjust the baking time slightly, and rotate the pans half way through.

Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet, before removing to a cooling rack and allowing to cool completely. 

ASSEMBLY

Match up the cookies into equal sized pairs.

Place the cream into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (alternatively you can use an offset spatula to spread the cream). 

Pipe a blob of lemon cream onto the bottom of one cookie, and sandwich with a second cookie.

Buttery Pistachio and lime shortbread, sandwiched with a zesty lime cream. #shortbread #lime #Sandwichcookie

Lavender and Pistachio Brioche Doughnuts


 

Doughnuts are another thing on the list of "things I only recently realised are very easy to make at home". This list also includes ice cream, almond milk, mozzarella cheese, and a whole heap of other things. 

Recently Richard's parents were visiting, and we took them to Chelsea Market in NYC. It has to be one of my favourite places in New York, aside from the green market. There are so many amazing things all jammed into one building and its just the best! We got some teeny baby doughnuts from The Doughnuttery, and one of the flavours was called "Paris Time" - Vanilla, pistachio and lavender. If you know me you know that anything Lavender gets me all heart-eyes, and these were no exception. Of course as soon as we got home I had to recreate my own version.. so here we are! 

Brioche doughnuts bring a whole new element to the doughnut game - they are buttery and tender and just the right amount of sweet to hold up against being drowned in pistachio and lavender sugar. Normally I have a little bit of whatever I make then give it to friends, our staff at the studio, the doormen, etc (If you live in NYC and like baking hit me up because theres always extra), but not these. My goodness. The combination of brioche, pistachio and lavender is one of my favourites. 

If you are planning on making these, you will need to make the dough the night before and give it its first rise at room temperature, and then the second in the fridge overnight, then shape the doughnuts and give them their third proof the next day before frying and sugaring them. You could also use non brioche dough if you wanted these to be ready the same day you make them - Deb's recipe is my favourite. The dough recipe I have used here comes from the Bouchon bakery book, which is soon becoming one of my most reached for books. All the recipes are in grams, which I LOVE (My brain works in kilograms and grams, and I struggle so so hard to swap over to pounds and ounces), and the recipes are so well written and easy to follow. If you are looking for an amazing pastry book, this is my current fave! 

 

 

 

Lavender and Pistachio Brioche Doughnuts
- Makes 8 -

Doughnut recipe from 'Bouchon Bakery'

Brioche Doughnut Dough 
518g (3 1/2 cups plus 3 Tbsp) All purpose flour
10g (1 Tbsp) instant yeast
74g (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp) Sugar
9g (1 Tbsp) Salt
212g (3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp) Whole milk, at 75f/24c
111g (1/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp) eggs
9g (1 1/2 tsp) vanilla paste
55g (2 oz) Unsalted butter, in cubes, at room temperature

Canola oil, for frying

Pistachio Lavender Sugar
300g (1 1/2 cups) sugar, divided
35g (1/3 cup) raw pistachios
2g (1 Tbsp) Culinary lavender

 

- PROCESS -

LAVENDER PISTACHIO SUGAR

In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse the pistachios, lavender and 200g (1 cup) sugar until it resembles fine crumbs. Pour into a small bowl and add the remaining half cup (100g) sugar, and stir to combine. Set aside and store in an airtight container until ready to use.

DOUGHNUTS

Place flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, and stir to combine. Add Sugar, salt, milk, eggs and vanilla paste, and mix on low for 5 minutes until combined. The dough will look sticky. Mix for a further two minutes. At this stage some pieces of dough will be sticking to the sides of the bowl. Add the butter a cube at a time, mixing well until each piece is well incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and hook, and mix for a further 15-20 minutes, scraping down periodically.

Turn the dough onto a well floured work surface. Avoid adding flour if necessary - add only enough to prevent sticking. Shape the dough into a rectangle, with the short side facing you. Fold the top side down toward you two-thirds of the way down the rectangle, stretching slightly, then repeat with the bottom side, stretching lightly again. Lightly oil a bowl. Place the dough, seam side down into the bowl. Cover with a cloth and leave at room temperature for about an hour. 

Re-flour your surface, and turn the dough out onto it. Press it into a rectangle and repeat the stretching and folding process. Re-oil the bowl, and return the dough to it seam-side down. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

The next day, lightly flour your work surface, and turn out the dough. Roll it into a round about 12 inches in diameter. Place on a lined tray and refrigerate for 20 minutes, or freeze for 10 minutes, until the dough has firmed up enough to cut easily. 

Line a tray with a silpat or parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray. Using a 3 1/2 inch cutter, cut 8 circles out of the dough. Use a 1 inch cutter to cut holes in each circle. Use the 1 inch cutter to cut mini doughnut 'holes' out of the remaining scraps (These also work well for testing the dough)

Cover the doughnuts with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray, and leave in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until doubled in size. Place approximately 3 inches of oil into a deep pot or dutch oven, and heat to 350f/177c. Place a cooling rack over a sheet pan, and have the pistachio lavender sugar on a plate nearby.

Working in batches of two, carefully lower the doughnuts one at a time into the oil. Fry for 1 minute, then flip and fry for an additional 2 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oil and place on the rack. When the second batch has finished cooking, transfer the first cooled doughnuts into the bowl of sugar and generously cover both sides with sugar. Tap lightly to remove excess sugar. 

Repeat frying and sugaring process with the remaining doughnuts. Doughnuts will keep for one to two days in an airtight container, but are best eaten on the day that they are fried.