Gluten-Free Pistachio Truffle Cookies

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In my idea of a chocoholic’s heaven, the angels will be serving these cookies.  No silver tray required!

I ran across this recipe for naturally gluten-free pistachio truffle cookies in December but couldn’t find the time to make them before Christmas.  It was love at first sight—a chocolate truffle, infused with cognac, sitting on top of a chewy pistachio macaroon, both of which are then enrobed with a chocolate shell and topped off with ground pistachios.

Be still my heart…

Now, this is not a cookie you make for your kids’ after school snack.  It falls into the category of a cookie you make for dessert when your boss is coming for dinner…or you’re making a special anniversary or Valentine’s meal…or maybe you want to impress your in-laws by having them over for dinner after you get back from your honeymoon.  In my case, I wanted to make a special dessert for a special brother-in-law who follows a gluten-free diet.  Anyway, you get the idea.

There are multiple steps involved in making this decadent morsel of a cookie, but each one is simple.  Just pick a day when you have the time to devote to it.  The recipe makes 3½ dozen truffle cookies which are small in size but large in taste and texture.  Oh, yes, the texture—it’s absolutely sublime to bite down through the fudgy truffle and then hit the chewy pistachio base.  The textural contrast alone is a delightful treat.

One bite of this frantastic cookie and you’ll think you’ve found a little bit of heaven right here on earth.

One year ago:  Pork Tenderloin Medallions

Two years ago:  Mama Musto’s Zucchini, Beans & Potato Side Dish

Three years ago:  Mama Musto’s Meatballs

Gluten-Free Pistachio Truffle Cookies

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Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies

  • Active time:  45 minutes
  • Total time:  2 1/2 hours

Ingredients for the Truffle Filling

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbl. brown rice syrup
  • 8 oz. high-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tbl. cognac (I used Grand Marnier)

Ingredients for Pistachio Cookie Base

  • 1 cup plus 3 tbl. shelled pistachios, divided
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbl. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. almond extract

Ingredients for the Chocolate Shell

  • 6 oz. high-quality bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbl. extra-virgin coconut oil

Directions for the Truffle Filling

In a small saucepan, heat cream and brown rice syrup over medium heat until it just begins to simmer.  Immediately remove the pot from heat and add chocolate.  Let stand for 3 minutes, then stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.  Add cognac and stir to combine.

Transfer truffle filling to a medium bowl and let stand at room temperature until the texture thickens and resembles peanut butter, whisking occasionally, about 45 minutes.

Directions for the Cookies

Arrange the racks in the upper and lower rungs in the oven and preheat the oven to 325° F.  In the bowl of a food processor, pulse 3 tablespoons pistachios until very finely ground and powdery.  Set ground pistachios aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine remaining 1 cup pistachios, sugar, cornstarch, and salt; pulse until very finely ground.

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Add the egg white, vanilla extract, and almond extract, and pulse until well combined.

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Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto two parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart. Use a finger dipped in water to gently flatten the pistachio rounds until they are about 1 inch in diameter.

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Bake until the cookies are set and edges are golden, about 12 minutes.  Let the cookies cool completely; then freeze cookies for 1 hour.

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Assemble the Cookies

Once the cookies have been frozen, spoon 1/2 teaspoon truffle filling (I found that there was enough truffle filling for one teaspoon per cookie, and I made exactly 42 cookies.) on the flat side of each cookie.  Use a butter knife or small offset spatula to shape the filling to a domed point.  (I found it easier to shape the truffle filling by hand as it was firm enough to handle by the time I got to it.)

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Freeze cookies until the filling is set, about 15 minutes more.  Place cookies on a wire rack placed over a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.

In a heatproof bowl set over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water, combine the 6 ounces of chocolate and the coconut oil.  Stir until mixture is smooth; remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Finish the Cookies

Working with one cookie at a time, spoon the chocolate shell over the cookies to completely enclose the filling.  Sprinkle the top of each cookie with a pinch of reserve ground pistachio while the glaze is still wet.  Let cool completely before serving.

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Make ahead:  The cookies can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Source:   A recipe from

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