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On Being Popular: Pistachio Almond Cardamom Cookies

If you’re anything like me, you’ll immediately hear Kristen Chenoweth’s voice in your head whenever you read the word “popular”. No? I guess it’s really just me then.

Anyway, this post isn’t about Broadway musicals (unfortunately), it’s about winning friends and influencing people. Specifically, women. You know how the old line “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”? Well, I call foul on that. It might be true, sure, but in my experience, food is a far greater tool when trying to win over girls. Just think about the last time someone brought cupcakes to your office or classroom- it was the women crowding around the lunch table and cooing, yes?

Earlier this month, I started my second term of studies in Interior Design. Last year, I had a fun, small group of classmates who I got to know well, but most of them were either in different classes, or postponing their studies this year. So I was faced with the prospect of a new, much larger group and a new tutor, and though I might seem chatty here on my blog, I can be shy in real life. I needed to break the ice and form good relationships with these people, otherwise the next six months could be quite awkward.

Luckily, I have a secret weapon: cookies. I’m fairly certain that there’s no better way to turn shy smiles and awkward silences into gushes of “Ooh, can I have the recipe?” and “Wow, you have a food blog? Send me the address!”. It’s also great for me, because I can indulge my baking hobby without worrying about indulging my waistline too much.

Fittingly, this recipe comes from the lovely blog Positively Beauty, where blogger Cristina Colli writes about interior design and baking- pretty perfect for someone like me, no? It’s funny how certain interests just seem to “go” together. Much like certain flavours; the marriage of almond, pistachio and cardamom here is perfection, as is the chewy, lozenge-like texture. I can almost liken these to a French pistachio macaron, only far easier to make.

Of course the proof is in the pudding, so how did my classmates like these? There was only one left at the end of the day, so you be the judge. Or better yet, make these for your work/school mates and let them judge. I’ll warn you though: you might find yourself with more friends than you know what to do with.

  • Pistachio Almond Cardamom Cookies
  • adapted from Positively Beauty
  • makes 32 cookies
  • 100g shelled pistachios
    200g blanched almonds
    200g icing sugar, plus extra to coat
    pinch of salt
    1/2 tsp ground cardamom (from about 1 tsp. cardamom seeds)
    2 egg whites
    1 Tbs. honey
  • 1. Grind the pistachios and almonds together with the icing sugar in a food processor- if you don’t have a food processor, using a clean coffee or spice grinder (in small batches, obviously) works well. Including the icing sugar in this process keeps the nuts from becoming too oily and lumpy. If you’re using cardamom seeds also grind them in this step, otherwise whisk in the cardamom and salt after, in a bowl.

    2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the honey, and continue beating until smooth and glossy. Little by little, add the dry ingredients and mix together on low speed, or with a spatula. When mixed, cover the bowl and let dough rest for at least one hour, or up to three. (This step is essential for the dough to firm up; it will look impossibly sticky before resting.)

    3. When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F and line two baking sheets with parchment. Put some icing sugar (about 1/2 cup) in a small bowl. Break off walnut-sized chunks of dough and roll into a ball with your hands; coat each in the icing sugar before placing on the baking sheets, 1″ apart. When a tray is full, gently flatten the top of each cookie with the palm of your hand.

    4. Bake cookies for 20-22 minutes. They will still feel slight soft to the touch, but will firm up on cooling. Allow to cool completely before serving or storing in an airtight container.

13 comments

  1. Cristina says:

    Hi Ele, your cookies look great!
    I’m so glad you tried my recipe, and it’s good to know that your new friends liked the cookies too. I too give most of my baking to friends and my husband’s colleague…I’d be as big as an elephant otherwise…!
    Interior design & baking IS a good combo :)

  2. i’m pretty sure we are destined to be friends…
    when someone says “popular” i automatically tune kristen in my head AND i am an interior designer!

  3. Chris says:

    LOL I do hear that tune in my head just couldn’t place where it was from.. I brought cupcakes in this morning to work (taste testing for the wedding) and so far people are pretty happy :)

  4. heidi says:

    Thanks for getting that one stuck in my head all day! Luckily, I don’t really hear the word “popular” too often, but I definitely hear her voice when someone says it.

    The cookies look great!

  5. Actually, when I hear the word “popular,” I get that Nada Surf song stuck in my head. Anyone……?

    I bet these cookies would be great with tea in the afternoon.

  6. Ele, I use the baked goods strategy, too. I recently started a new job and found the group dynamics hard to navigate. But everyone likes cookies! These look beautiful in their icing sugar gowns.

  7. These cookies look yummy! I love pistachios but don’t get to bake with them often enough. If a group of women are within 10ft of fresh baked goodies – all diets are off – myself included. I’ll make these for my next girls get together and see how it goes.

  8. Shoshana says:

    These look amazing and super healthy…definitely looks like a great yummy snack! Great photos!

  9. Anna B. says:

    Hey Ele! These look delish! Did you know Kristen Chenoweth is from the great state of Oklahoma?! Hope all is well!

  10. Bionica says:

    these cookies look great
    but how much flour is needed?

    -Bionica

  11. Ele says:

    Hi Bionica, there is no flour in this cookie recipe. Just ground nuts and icing sugar, as the recipe says. It’s what keeps them so moist, chewy and tasty!

  12. Bionica says:

    oh thanks so much
    I appreciate and can’t wait to try them =)

    -Bionica