Last 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.
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
2-3 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