i'm not much for this valentine's day thing. perhaps it's because i did not grow up with it. even more likely, it's because i'm just not the kind of girl who cares about hearts and candles and whatever. i don't have a romantic bone in my body and i don't feel fundamentally impaired because of it. i don't even remember when i started dating my husband. (how could i know he was my husband?!) we just know it was the beginning of the year; he has some recollection of a super bowl at a friend's house - which of course is just a big blank for me, and frankly we only remember the day we got married because it's also his birthday. i'm terrible with dates and keeping track of time in general. my husband doesn't mind. and he knows he'll stir up a lot more excitement with a book than a bunch of roses. recently he gave me a kindle: now that was a blue-ribbon day! valentine's day is so low on the list of exciting things it barely generates a 'huh? what's that?'. however: i'm not about to pass a legitimate occasion of baking various cookies, especially now that we have so much fun decorating them. zhara insisted on the blue icing, which is incidentally kinda appropiate, since my hubby is away and so even if i wanted i couldn't celebrate zip. these are humble sugar cookies, perked up with some pistachio paste and lemon zest. low-key or not, they still deserve a decent pic, and i tried, but this kept happening so i gave up:
1 cup/110 gr all purpose flour
1 cup/110 gr whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 ts salt
1/2 cup pistachio paste
6 oz/170gr butter, softened
1/3 cup/75 gr sugar
zest of one lemon, about 1 tb
1/2 ts vanilla extract
mix flours with salt and set aside. cream the butter with the pistachio paste and sugar until fluffy, then add the egg, vanilla and zest. stir in the flour, mixing until just incorporated. form into a disk, wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
preheat the oven to 400F/220C. lightly sprinkle the work surface with powdered sugar. roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick and cut out your shapes. alternately drop by tablespoons. bake for about 12 minutes. the dough will be set and kinda golden, but not browned. remove immediately to wire rack to cool. i left them on it overnight as it was late, and in the morning they were crispy on the outside, and chewy inside, just the way we like them. keep airtight for a week.
p.s. i expect next time i'll use a bit of lemon extract, too and possibly more zest. the flavour was quite subtle and we like the lemon punch.