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Sourdough Wheat Shortbread Cookies with Pistachios

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Nutty Twist: Sourdough Shortbread Cookies with Soft Wheat and Pistachios

In the hustle of the holiday season, the aroma of freshly baked cookies brings comfort and joy to any home. With a twist on classic shortbread, our Sourdough Wheat Shortbread Cookies with pistachios incorporate a unique blend of flavors and nutrition.

Our shortbread cookie recipe marries two wholesome ingredients: soft wheat berries coupled with tangy sourdough discard. While these may seem like unexpected additions, they enhance these cookies, both in flavor and nutrition.

Why Soft Wheat Berries?

The use of soft wheat brings an intriguing texture, imparting a subtle nuttiness that perfectly complements the rich, buttery base of classic shortbread. Soft wheats have lower protein and less gluten strength which make them great for something like cookies. Besides adding depth to the flavor, soft wheat berries offer additional nutrients, including fiber and essential minerals. We like to have a dose of healthy with our indulgences. Adding wholesome wheat helps us feel good about what we are putting in our body.

Embracing Sourdough Discard

Incorporating sourdough discard is our way of celebrating the spirit of resourcefulness. Beyond the delightful tang it brings, using discard in baking also reduces waste as it is meant to be discarded when feeding your starter. Furthermore, discard introduces beneficial probiotics, fostering a gut-friendly element to these delectable treats.

Nutritional Benefits from Pistachios, Wheat & Sourdough

Rich in healthy fats, pistachios lend a satisfying crunch and a boost of antioxidants. Furthering nutritional additions, soft wheat berries contribute dietary fiber, aiding digestion and providing a spectrum of essential nutrients for a wholesome indulgence. And sourdough discard brings added gut health through probiotics and fiber.

Our recipe is inspired by Karen DeMasco’s Pecan Shortbread cookies from her 2009 cookbook The Craft of Baking. Her recipe is more traditional with all purpose flour, but she also incorporates pecans and an entire vanilla bean. If you have the luxury of having a vanilla bean on hand — by all means use it! It imparts an amazing flavor.

A Grand Holiday Gift Idea

These sourdough shortbread are a great gift for others, especially during the holidays. You could wrap these cookies with care in clear cellophane bags tied with festive ribbons or place them in decorative cookie tins lined with parchment or doilies. You could even gift the frozen dough for others to make at their leisure.

Regardless if you plan to gift these cookies or keep them to yourself, these Sourdough Shortbread Cookies are the perfect indulgence. Not just for their delightful taste, but also for the wholesome goodness they bring. They are great with a warm cup of chai, hot chocolate, coffee or even a glass of wine. And while these are touted as “healthy” alternatives to traditional shortbread, don’t forget a healthy mindset of moderation. Be it that these are so delicious, it will be hard to just eat one! Let us know what you think, and while you’re here why don’t you check out some of our other desserts and sourdough recipes!

photo of freshly baked pistachio wheat sourdough shortbread cookies on drying rack

Sourdough Wheat Shortbread Cookies with Pistachios

These delightful Sourdough Shortbread Cookies are an irresistible twist on the classic treat. Enhanced with the nuttiness of pistachios and whole wheat and the tang of sourdough discard, they offer a delightful crunch and rich flavor. The recipe incorporates soft wheat for a healthy hit of fiber and includes a coating of turbinado sugar for an added touch of sweetness.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Scottish
Keyword: cookies, high fiber, part-wheat
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 2 dozen
Author: juiceofsevenlemons

Ingredients

  • 75 g pistachios 2/3 cups coarsely chopped
  • 140 g unsalted butter 10 tablespoons, 1 1/4 sticks
  • 70 g confectioners’ sugar heaping 1/2 cup
  • 2 pinches vanilla bean powder 1/4 teaspoon
  • 2 grams vanilla bean paste 1/2 teaspoon
  • 3 grams fine sea salt 1/2 teaspoon
  • 85 grams sourdough discard 1/3 cup
  • 135 g soft wheat berries ground into flour, or substitute 1 cup wheat pastry flour
  • 60 g all-purpose flour 1/2 cup
  • 25 g turbinado sugar 3 tablespoons, for coating outside of cookie dough log
  • 1 large egg yolk lightly beaten (for turbinado sugar to stick to dough log)

Instructions

  • Chop pistachios until coarsely chopped. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla bean powder, vanilla bean paste, and sea salt until fluffy for about 3 minutes.
  • Gradually add the sourdough discard, mixing until fully incorporated.
  • Combine the soft wheat flour and all-purpose flour in a separate bowl.
  • In 3 batches, add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined at a low speed.
  • Fold in the chopped pistachios until evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  • Lay a piece of plastic wrap or parchment on the counter and place the dough on it. Shape it into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the log and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.
  • Preheat your convection oven to 325°F (165°C). For a conventional oven, 350°F (175°C) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Brush the outside of the dough log with the beaten egg yolk. Roll the log in the turbinado sugar until coated.
  • Cut the log into slices about 1/2 inch thick and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes for convection or around 20 minutes for conventional or until the edges are lightly golden. If using multiple baking sheets, rotate in the oven from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking.
  • Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Sourdough Tang/Substitution: The addition of sourdough discard lends a subtle tanginess to these cookies, complementing the nutty pistachio flavor. If you do not have sourdough starter, substitute equal amounts flour and water.
  • Texture and Flavor: Soft wheat flour introduces a pleasant texture, balancing the richness of the buttery shortbread.
  • Chilling Time: Refrigerating the dough log before slicing helps the cookies hold their shape while baking.
  • Freezable Make/Ahead Dough: This cookie dough can be frozen for up to a month.
  • Customizable Thickness: Feel free to adjust the thickness of the cookies for your preferred texture—thinner slices will be crisper, while thicker ones will offer more chewiness.
  • Customizable Nuts: If you’d like, substitute pecans or walnuts for the pistachios. You may also omit the nuts altogether.
Enjoy these delightful cookies with a cup of tea or coffee, or share them as a thoughtful homemade gift!

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