Bake or Break

Chocolate-Pistachio Wreaths

I made the mistake of showing Quinn this recipe that showed a beautiful finished photograph of black and white cookie wreaths garnished with piped red frosting berries. I’ve mentioned before that he is quite ambitious in my baking. After several days of pleading, I finally caved and made the cookies.

To say that the cookies didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped would be an understatement. The pistachio dough was fine, but the chocolate dough was not cooperative. It spent time in both the refrigerator and the freezer, but it just wasn’t up to task. Quinn was victorious in getting a few wreaths made before he gave up.

The cookies themselves are actually pretty good. I decided to salvage what I could and bake them in non-wreath form. Of course, by this time I was so discouraged that there was no pleasing me.

I suppose there is something to be said for having my first baking-related failure of the holiday season not happen until three days before Christmas. I’ll focus on that. Then, tomorrow, it’s back to baking as I start preparing for Christmas Eve.

Chocolate-Pistachio Wreaths

Yield 12 cookies
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chocolate-Pistachio Wreaths

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 & 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pistachios
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Add sugar and baking powder, beating until smooth. Add egg and vanilla, and mix well.
  2. Gradually add flour, and mix unitl smooth.
  3. Divide dough in half. To half of the dough, add pistachios and almond extract. Mix well. To the other half of the dough, add cocoa powder and milk. Cover doughs and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°.
  5. Lightly flour work surface. Roll each dough into a 12-inch long log. Cut each log into 24 pieces, about 1/2-inch in size. Roll each piece into a 6-inch rope. Place a rope of each dough beside each other. Twist together 5-6 times. Shape twisted dough into a circle and gently pinch ends together.
  6. Place cookies about 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are light brown.
  7. Cool on baking sheet for a minute. Then, transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Notes

For optional icing, mix 1/2 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar and 1-2 teaspoons milk. Add red food coloring to desired shade. Pipe berry clusters on each cookie wreath.

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    13 Comments on “Chocolate-Pistachio Wreaths”

  1. I made these too and found the chocolate dough uncooperative as well!!!! I wasn’t sure if it was just me and the fact that I had doubled the recipe. You thought you were frustrated… ha! They are delish though.

  2. Your baking creations are always stunning and delicious, Jen – don’t be so hard on yourself, sweetie!
    The recipes you make are always a inspiration to me and to many others.

  3. Umm…looks too labor intensive for me šŸ™‚ On the other hand, I would have no problem making either the Reese’s or Pecan Pie cheesecakes—yum!

  4. Danielle, that makes me feel so much better. Good to know that it wasn’t just me!

    Thanks, Patricia. You’re very kind. I am, unfortunately, not one to take failure well. Quinn says I would have made a terrible scientist. šŸ™‚

    JEP, both of those cheesecakes are wonderful! In fact, I’m about to make another Pecan Pie Cheesecake today for tomorrow’s festivities.

  5. I am sure they will turn out the way you want them to with some practice… they look pretty good to me though!

  6. I’m sorry the dough didn’t work out so well. I laughed about your husband’s ambition for you…if my husband sees a an incredible food photo, he’s sold on a recipe. If there’s no picture, his interest definitely declines. Have a great Christmas!
    Julie

  7. Don’t be so hard on yourself, really! Failing is normal from time to time, I know it from personal experience:) The cookie looks fab, but there are probably better batters for making the cookies, since yours was not very cooperative.

  8. it seems like a very nice cookie though and i myself don’t mind eating any kind of cookie shape as long as it’s delicious.

  9. Thanks, Jenn. I really think that chocolate dough would need to be altered somehow before I’d even consider making these again. Maybe I’ll be brave again some day!

    Julie, if Quinn finds out there’s not a picture with a recipe, he’s all for making it so *we* can have a picture of it. Good for the blogging business, I suppose. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

    Evelin, thanks for the encouragement. I really must try to deal better with failures.

    Eliza, I feel the same way. I tried some other shapes, but I just lost interest after the wreaths were a no-go.

  10. They are just gorgeous! I could see myself putting a bunch on my tree…and I am sure my dog would be quite happy about it!

  11. That would be quite a feat. My cats would certainly love a food-decorated tree.

  12. Your site it my favorite keep it coming! I find it refreshing that you publish the “oops”.

  13. Well I am searching the web thinking I had the recipe wrong after I tried making this directly from the Better Homes and Garden cookbook. Same recipe, same difficulty. But the taste is divine! Ended up with twisted logs instead of wreaths.

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