The bitter almonds in the classic amaretti from Italy give this simple little cookie just that extra kick. But not everyone can easily get bitter almonds. For my own variation on amaretti I thought that grapefruit zest could perhaps give a similar bitter effect. And it does work! I used pistachios for a nice greenish colour and a fruity, nutty taste. As a finishing touch I ground some fresh black pepper in the bowl with my pepper mill. The result is a really nice adult cookie. If you are not into a little peppery zing, you can always leave the pepper mill in the cupboard. If you don’t like a bitter touch, use orange instead of grapefruit. This cookie will still taste great without both pepper and grapefruit. But I do like the combination of sweet, bitter and hot. Have this pistachio grapefruit cookie with a cup of strong coffee and a sweet liqueur to finish a meal or nibble on them as a little pick me up to go with your afternoon tea.
Pistachio grapefruit cookie
for about 30 cookies
160 grams (1 heaped cup) pistachio nuts
140 (⅔ cup) sugar
grated peel of ½ grapefruit
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 egg whites
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 170°C / 350°F. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Finely grind 120 grams of pistachios with ½ cup sugar in a food processor. Mix in the grapefruit peel and the pepper
Beat the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks form. Then add the rest of the sugar spoon by spoon while whisking. Beat until stiff peaks form and the mixture is smooth and shiny.
Carefully fold the pistachio mixture into the egg white and place in a piping bag with a small round nozzle (ø 13 mm / ½ inch).
Hold piping bag and nozzle facing directly down onto the pan and pipe small rings. Keep enough space between them because they will spread. Bake in the middle of the oven for 10-15minutes until light brown and done. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet.
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