Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Chanukah Pistaschio Cookies

Servings: Makes 30 cookies
During Hanukkah, it's traditional to partake in homemade treats to commemorate the annual Jewish celebration of freedom. These specially shaped shortbread-style cookies,with decorative icing, help pass the venerated tradition from generation to generation.

Cookie Dough:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup margarine (at least 80 percent vegetable oil)
1/3 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts

1 tablespoon orange juice plus additional juice, if needed
1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Food coloring (optional)

1. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour and sugar. Using a pastry cutter, cut in margarine until mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling. Stir in pistachios. Form mixture into ball. Knead just until smooth. Wrap dough. Chill for 1 hour or until easy to handle.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 C). On a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a 10-inch x 6-inch rectangle. Cut the dough with decorative 2-inch cookie cutters or slice into thirty 2-inch x 1-inch strips. Place cut shapes or strips 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on sheet 5 minutes. Transfer to wire rack; cool for 30 minutes.

4. For the Icing:
In a medium mixing bowl combine confectioners' sugar, orange juice, and vanilla. Stir in additional juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the icing reaches piping consistency. If desired, tint a portion of the icing with food coloring. Decorate cookies as desired with icing. Store in a tightly covered container.

Makes 30 cookies.

Source: DianasDesserts.com
Date: November 1, 2002