Lime pistachio cookies with cream cheese frosting

Honorable mention: Sandy Szafranski Prep: 1 hour Chill: 1 hour Bake: 15 minutes per batch Makes: 25 large cookies Szafranski calls for the zest and juice of 4 lemons for the cookie dough, but the yield of those ingredients can vary depending on the limes. We had good results with 4 teaspoons zest and 1/4 cup juice. If you cannot find raw pistachios, roasted and salted ones can sub. (You may want to reduce the added salt by 1/4 teaspoon.) 1 1/2 cups shelled, raw pistachios 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened 1/2 cup sugar 4 limes, zested, juiced, or to taste 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon salt Green food coloring 2 1/4 cups flour Cream cheese frosting 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 1 cup confectioners' sugar 1 tablespoon lime juice (about 1 whole lime) 1 teaspoon vanilla Green food coloring Decorative sprinkles 1 Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place pistachios on a baking sheet; toast in the oven, about 10 minutes. When you start to smell them, they are ready. Cool completely; process in a food processor until just ground. Put aside. 2 Beat butter and sugar together in a bowl with an electric mixer or in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add lime zest and juice, vanilla and salt; mix slowly until well combined. Add 2-4 drops food coloring. Mix until uniform in color. 3 Add flour, mix well; add 1 cup ground pistachios. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; form a disk. Refrigerate , about 1 hour. 4 Meanwhile, for the frosting, mix cream cheese and confectioners' sugar in a bowl until well combined. Add lime juice, vanilla and a few drops of food coloring (tint to your desired green). Mix to blend. 5 Heat oven to 350 degrees again. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4-inch thick. Cut into trees with tree cookie cutters. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet, 12-14 minutes. Cool completely on racks. 6 Place cream cheese frosting in a plastic bag with a corner snipped off or use a piping bag with fine tip. Pipe frosting like garlands; sprinkle with remaining pistachios, colored sugar or decorations (or all three). Nutrition information per serving: 176 calories, 11 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 21 mg cholesterol, 17 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, 53 mg sodium, 1 g fiber
Bill Hogan, Chicago Tribune
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