Rhubarb’s pink stalks are available in late spring and early summer beckoning home cooks to transform sinewy tartness into sweet lushness in the form of pies, compotes, curds and here at Cookie Chronicles— cookies. These cookies require some construction; rhubarb compote is layered in between a pistachio studded vanilla dough and sprinkled with a pistachio-sugar coating. They make a peerless contribution to any summer get together—including a Fourth of July picnic.
2 cups AP flour
1/3 cup sugar plus 1 T for sprinkling
1/2 cup finely ground pistachios, toasted, reserve 1 T for sprinkling
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into one inch chunks
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pound rhubarb, chopped in half inch pieces
½ cup-1 cup granulated sugar
Finely grated zest of one orange
One egg whisked with 2 tsp water (egg wash)
For the cookies…
1) Prepare the dough. Whisk together flour, pistachios and sugar. Cut in butter until mixture is coarse. Then add in egg and vanilla extract until just combined. Divide dough into two balls, flatten into discs, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
2) Time to make the compote. Place the rhubarb chunks and half cup sugar in sauce pan and let sit for ten minutes. This will pull out some of the moisture. Turn heat on high and bring mixture to boil. Let bubble for at least five minutes. Taste—if not sweet enough add sugar in little by little until you reach your desired level of sweetness. Compotes are traditionally chunky but for our purposes, this should be less chunky—the consistency of apple sauce is a good model. Remember, this will be sandwiched in between cookies so want it to be on the smoother side. Once the rhubarb has broken down enough to be the consistency of chunky applesauce, stir in orange zest and remove from heat and let cool. Place in a plastic container in the refrigerator for at least an hour or until the compote is cold and set. This is critical because when you assemble the cookies you don’t want the mixture to ooze out.
3) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Once the rhubarb mixture has cooled and set, roll the pistachio dough out onto a flour surfaced and into 1/8 inch thickness with a rolling pin. Cut dough into shapes using 2 inch cookie cutter. The photos for this recipe were cut with a flower cookie cutter but you can use any shape you like.
4) Mix ¼ cup pistachios and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
5) Place cut outs on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush with egg wash. Place just slightly less than a teaspoon of rhubarb compote in the center of the cut out. Place another cut out on top and crimp edges closed. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with pistachio sugar mixture
6) Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Let cool on wire racks.
Yields about 18 cookies. Keep stored in plastic container up to 3 days.