In Cuisinart, pulse to grind pistachios with sugar til fine. Add cornstarch through Salt and pulse to combine thoroughly. Run a round-tipped knife around the bottom corner of the processor bowl , to free up any compacted mixture. Add butter and pulse til finely combined, but not clumping/sticky. Combine vanilla and brandy and add while pulsing.
Before mixture gets creamy and clumps together, pour out into a 9" square pan (or 8 or 10" square pan) .Spread with hands and a graduated icing metal spatula to even the thickness and smooth the top. Cover and refrigerate .
Allow 1/2-1 hour to thoroughly chill and firm up. Score and cut into a grid that is 8 squares by 6 squares.
Run a metal spatula or a butter knife under the cubes; lift sections of them and roll each into a ball, adding to or removing from them to get all about the same size. Return to square pan to await filling with truffles.
(It's o.k. if they touch.) Place balls 2" apart on parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 17-20 minutes til lightly browned and sweet smell is indicating their doneness. Remove pan to rack. Cool 30 minutes. Transfer to a single layer in a container, placing shoulder to shoulder. Sift heavy layer of confectioners sugar over them. Cover tightly. Serve at room temperature.
Green Tea Chocolate Truffle Filling
Spread out 1 inch layer of white chocolate in ceramic dish or heavy plastic container. Put in microwave and cover lightly (not tight saran or a cover that snaps shut). At medium power, heat for 1 minute. Stir with rubber spatula til chocolate is all melted.Repeat if necessary. Should be smooth, shiny and loose. In a small ramekin,lightly covered, microwave heavy cream on medium power for 30 seconds.Remove and add matcha, stirring with fork til smooth. Add half of the cream to the chocolate,quickly stir, add rest of cream and stir til combined. Mixture will be weird/thick/ not shiny. Freeze a minimum of 1/2 hour. Scoop out in 1 teaspoon portions, quickly roll in your palms to a ball shape (perfection not necessary.) If too soft , return to freezer, covered, til mixture hardens; then use teaspoon measure to form into balls. Keep frozen.
Notes: Green Tea powder can vary in quality,strength and texture. To develop this recipe, I used green tea powder purchased through Amazon in 8.8 ou. foil packs. Whatever matcha you use, make sure it is in a powder form. If granular, grind to a powder. Depending upon the brand, you may want to increase or lessen the amount of sugar.
* This dough can sometimes be a bit finicky. You may want to first bake a few cookies as a test batch. If, after cooling 1/2 hour, they fall apart when you try to eat them, sprinkle1-2 T more brandy over all the dough and work it in as you roll or re-roll each ball.
**Comments: The truffle filling is optional but I prefer that version because of the added sweetness and the surprise of a creamy chewy center in a melty sandy cookie. If you choose to make unfilled cookies, add 1/8 cup more sugar and 1 T. more brandy when you make the dough.
Press thumb Into each ball of cookie dough, Insert a frozen truffle into center of cookie ball, wrapping dough around and covering the truffle completely with the dough.(*If truffle is not in center of ball, it will melt and bleed through the cookie walls when it is baked.) Roll between palms to make a neat ball, and place in container. Cover filled cookie balls and freeze at least a half hour.
Remove from freezer, arrange 2” apart on parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet. Bake 17-20 minutes or til lightly browned on edges. Remove pan from oven, place on cooling rack, and let cookes cool on pan for minimum of 1/2 hour.(They need time to set up; otherwise they will crumble.) Carefully use a metal spatula to move the cookies shoulder to shoulder. Sieve over them a solid layer of confectioners sugar. Transfer to covered container.
I am always on the lookout for innovative recipes, which is why I am just ga-ga over my recently- discovered Food52 with its amazingly innovative and talented contributors. My particular eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, and cardamom.
I am also finally indulging in learning about food history; it gives me no end of delight to learn how and when globe artichokes came to the U.S., and how and when Jerusalem artichokes went from North America to Europe. And that the Americas enabled other cuisines to become glorious. I mean where would those countries be without: Corn, Tomatoes, Chiles,Peanuts, Dried Beans, Pecans, Jerusalem Artichokes??!
While I am an omnivore, I am, perhaps more than anything, fascinated by the the world of carbohydrates, particularly the innovative diversity of uses for beans, lentils and grains in South Indian and other cuisines.
Baking gives me much pleasure, and of all the things I wish would change in American food, it is that we would develop an appreciation for sweet foods that are not cloyingly sweet, and that contain more multigrains. (Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a country of great bakeries instead of the drek that we have in the U.S.?!)
I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me.
I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse write me and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.