Sometimes you want to talk politics, and sometimes, frankly, you want to change the subject. With all the thinking and kvetching and what-if-ing that this week entailed, with the "how could he?" followed by the "how could she?" followed by the "can you believe it?" I just needed a day off. Just a day to watch the kids play soccer and scratch the dog's graying chin. A day to kick back. A day to bake.
I promise I'll be angry and intense again soon. Just please, not today.
Recipe for Pistachio Shortbread Bars
Like blondies, only far more delicate due to the powdered pistachios. Eat these over a plate, unless you're fond of strewn crumbs and have a strong desire to vacuum.
Scant 1/2 cup dry-roasted, unsalted pistachios
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment.
Pulverize pistachios in a food processor until powdery.
Whisk together the dry ingredients (pistachio powder through cardamom) in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed for one full minute. Add the sugar and extract, and beat for another full minute until incorporated. Add the flour mixture in two additions, beating on low speed between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Smooth the top and into the corners with a small offset spatula.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and set.
Cool completely. Cut into bars.