Even though Bulgaria is a proper Balkan country, its back rubs against the Middle East. That means you will find many Arabic influences in the kitchen. From neighboring Turkey comes the sweet soft Turkish delight – lokum – which is extremely popular in Bulgaria, where it is often made with rosewater or walnuts and served with tea or as a dessert. I discovered that it was also used in a cookie and wanted to try it. The result was very good! The Turkish delight melts into the dough a bit and leave little fragrant sweet bits. On top of the cookie the little morsels are deliciously sweet and a little sticky. This really is a nice nutty sweet biscuit to go with a cup of mint tea or a good cappuccino.
Pistachio cookie with Turkish delight
For ± 15 cookies
60 grams (½ stick) unsalted butter
90 grams (½ cup) sugar
50 grams (¼ cup) Bulgarian yogurt
¼ tsp baking powder
seeds of 1 vanilla pod
± 200 grams (1⅔ cups) flour
95 grams (⅔ cup) pistachios, coarsely ground
75 grams (± 7 pieces) Turkish delight
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Melt the butter and let cool down slightly.
Beat with the sugar until frothy.
Add the yogurt, the egg yolk and half of the egg white and mix well.
Mix in the baking powder, vanilla, a pinch of salt and 1cup flour. Keep ± 15 g / ¼ cup nuts and ¼ of the Turkish delight separate and mix the rest into the dough. Add enough flour to make a soft dough.
Form rectangles of ± 25 grams / 1 heaped tablespoon of the dough. Dip them in the rest of the egg white and sprinkle over the reserved nuts and Turkish delight.
Arrange them on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper and bake in the middle of the oven for ± 20 min. until light brown and done.
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