Pandan Pistachio White Chocolate Chip Cookies (Video)
No one can argue with the fact that American cookies are the best. When I lived in Paris and came to the US, I kept bringing a ton of American cookies home to my friends and relatives. My childhood friend Alexia, who came to visit us this month, came home with 8 dozen of American cookies to gift to her relatives!
Cookies are always a nice treat no matter the age of the cookie monster or the occasion being celebrated. Several years, I came up with this new recipe for homemade cookies with an exotic twist (pandan extract) for a change and they've become my signature cookies for special occasions. Follow the instructions from this video and you'll have our family's favorite French-Asian fusion cookies.
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Yields: 36 cookies16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2½ tablespoons pandan extract
½ cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
1¼ cups vanilla chips
1 cup shelled whole pistachios
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter with the granulated sugar (whisk using a stand-mixer to get as much air as possible into the butter). . Add the eggs.
Slowly add the flour, salt and baking soda. Mix well. Add the pandan paste. It will bring a distinct bright green color to the dough. Mix well using a silicone spatula. Add the pistachios and vanilla chips. Divide the dough and roll into 2 (2-¼" diameter) logs. Chill them in the freezer until firm (this step is optional but it helps make evenly-shaped cookies). It will take at least 15 minutes to harden (see storing tips).
Slice the logs into ½" thick disks. Place the cookies on a baking sheet previously lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Make sure they are spaced apart so they don't touch each other when they expand while baking.
Bake for 10-13 minutes at 350°F, depending on how soft you prefer them. Don't over-bake them; you want them to be moist and chewy. Remove from the oven. Transfer the cookies to cooling racks. Allow to cool completely.
Enjoy with a tall glass of sharbat (pink-colored rose and pistachio-flavored Indian milk drink).
Sifting dry ingredients helps get rid of lumps of flour and aerates the mixture when liquid is added. It's very important for all your baking so you get a moist result.
FYI: 1 cup of butter = 16 tablespoons = 2 sticks of butter.
I prefer using superfine sugar. It's a fine-grained sugar and it dissolves much more quickly than regular granulated sugar.
A pinch of salt brings out the flavor of the dessert and enhances its sweetness.
I buy Koepoe-Koepoe brand pastes. There are rose, mocha and pandan flavors. If you're adventurous, you can also try durian paste . You can find them in Asian stores or at VeryAsia.com. I use the same pastes for making Vietnamese jello cakes.
I prefer Guittard vanilla chips but if you can't find any, you can replace it with white chocolate chips.
You can create your own twist to these cookies by using different nuts such as macadamia nuts, pecans or walnuts, chocolate chips (milk, dark, white, butterscotch, peanut butter, lemon apeels, mint apeels) or flavorings (rose, pandan, peppermint, mocha, cherry or dried fruits). Let your imagination run wild!
You can also store the cookie logs up to 12 weeks in your freezer for last-minute surprise guests.
You can store the baked cookies in an airtight metallic tin for up to a week to keep them moist. If you like them firmer, just let them cool longer or store them in a regular cookie jar or simply eat them all, like we did!