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DSCF2619You’ll learn quickly that I have two obsessions in the kitchen: shortbread and tarts.  The Tarte Tatin was one very small peek into my love affair…but more on that later.  I’ve been trying for several weeks now to come up with the perfect base recipe to make all sorts of shortbread.  There was the dangerously salty, the too bitter, the too healthy-tasting, the too crumbly.  Thank goodness for roommates and co-workers who faithfully tasted and rated each batch.

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Now that I’ve finally landed on a good base, I thought I’d get a little more creative.  I’m a sucker for chocolate.  Mostly chocolate chunks.  When all was said and done, what came out of the oven wasn’t quite the pistachio chocolate chunk shortbread I had imagined.  I got a little overzealous with my grinder and much to my chagrin, they suddenly became cocoa pistachio shortbread.

Turns out, the mistake wasn’t so bad.

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1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup turbinado Sugar plus some for finishing
1 ⅔ cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
8 oz unsalted pistachio
10 oz dark chocolate (72% or more)

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Grind the pistachios and the chocolate using a food processor.  The size should be small and the texture coarse, but not powdery.  Set aside.

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Set aside 1 tbsp butter.  In a medium mixing bowl, cream the remaining butter and sugar.  Add sea salt and vanilla to the bowl and add flour in parts.  Once the dough starts showing the first signs of holding together, fold in chocolate and pistachio.  I found that mixing this by hand was easiest.  Take care not to handle the dough too much.  Continuing to mix the dough can result in a stiff or crumbly end result.

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Turn dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, wrap in wax paper or saran wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

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Preheat over to 350 degrees F.  Roll dough out to ¼ inch thick, using plenty of flour on a counter surface and rolling pin to avoid pieces pulling apart.  Cut cookies with a cutter and place on a cookie sheet greased with remaining tablespoon of butter.  Before placing in oven, generously sprinkle turbinado on top of each cookie.

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Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from pan immediately and allow to cool completely before serving.

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