Saffron Pistachio Cookies with Olive Oil

Saffron Pistachio CookiesLast week fellow Brooklyn blogger and friend Diana stopped over to watch the Oscars with us. She brought over the most amazing brownies and some extra saffron she had lying around at home. Originally I wanted to use it to make Persian ice cream with pistachios and rose water but then I saw Mark Bittman’s Saffron Olive Oil Cookies.

I’ve always wanted to bake cookies with olive oil so I was excited to try out this combination. I used whole wheat flour to keep things a little healthier and added chopped pistachios and a blood orange. The result was wonderful and the saffron turned out to be a luxurious addition. The saffron flavor is quite noticeable so you can play around with different amounts if it’s too overpowering for you.

Steep saffron in hot water for a few minutes and chop pistachios, set aside.

Add olive oil and sugar to the saffron mixture and beat until smooth.

Add eggs and blood orange into olive oil mixture and beat until creamy. Pour into dry ingredients.

Mix wet and dry ingredients together until smooth.

Fold in chopped pistachios.

Drop batter onto ungreased cookie sheets and top with pistachios and sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Saffron Pistachio Cookies Recipe

  • 1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar (have extra for sprinkling, optional)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 teaspoons grated blood orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons blood orange juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachio nuts (have extra for sprinkling)

    Heat the oven to 350°F.

    Combine a tablespoon of boiling water with the saffron in a medium bowl, stir, and steep for a few minutes. Combine whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

    Add olive oil and sugar to the saffron mixture and beat for 1-2 minutes with a whisk until light. Add the eggs and beat for a few more minutes until creamy and fluffy. Beat in blood orange zest and juice. Gently combine the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients.

    Drop about 2 teaspoons of dough about 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets and sprinkle with chopped pistachios and sugar (optional). Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly brown on the bottom. Transfer the cookies on a rack to cool. Store cookies in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

    Total Time: 40 minutes
    Yield: about 3 dozen cookies
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    8 Responses to “Saffron Pistachio Cookies with Olive Oil”

    1. lauren @ the talking kitchen March 3, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

      these look amazing! I love pistachios, and Mark Bittman, I think I’ll give these a try!

      ps. beautiful photography as always!

      • Barb March 3, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

        Thanks so much, Lauren 😀
        Absolutely love your photos too!

    2. Diana March 4, 2012 at 12:23 am #

      Hey! These cookies look great! How does the texture compare to the texture of cookies made with butter?

      The Persian ice cream with pistachios and rosewater still sound fab, though. You should it soon. 😉

      • Barb March 4, 2012 at 10:46 am #

        Thanks! I really like it, the texture is lighter and not as rich as butter though. It’s a nice healthy alternative to try out.

        Next time I’ll definitely make the ice cream 🙂

    3. ileana March 5, 2012 at 10:34 am #

      Wow, these cookies looks so elegant.

    4. Lisa March 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

      I definitely want to try these! I just need a blood orange. How nice to have friends who have extra saffron lying around…!

      • Barb March 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

        I know, getting free saffron was pretty exciting!

        Oh, and if you have regular oranges, I think they would work fine too.

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