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What Are Pistachio Macaroons?

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  • Written By: H. Bliss
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2016
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Pistachio macaroons are sweet cookies made with pistachios as a main or featured ingredient in the macaroon. Traditional macaroons use ground almonds in the recipe, so pistachio macaroons are usually similarly formulated cookies using pistachio in place of the almond. A single-bite sweet treat with a soft center, pistachio macaroons are frequently seen alongside other cookies in a teatime snack spread. The pistachio comes from the pistachio tree, which is native to arid regions with sandy soils. It is an important ingredient in sweet, salty, and savory dishes originating from many parts of the world.

Traditional macaroons are generally considered small cookies or tiny cakes, as they have many qualities of both cakes and cookies. Macaroons are light, bite-sized, and generally made with ground almonds. Similarly light and cake-like, pistachio macaroons involve pistachio either as a minor ingredient used to enhance a traditional, almond-based macaroon, or as ground pistachio in place of the almond in the traditional macaroon recipe. The reason macaroons are often considered cakes is because a macaroon of any type is expected to have a soft, doughy center. It is not supposed to be completely crunchy like many other small cookies tend to be.

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Similar to other teatime cookies, pistachio macaroons are generally considered to be a type of nut biscuit, which is a cookie made with ground nuts that often appears in a teatime spread. Nut biscuits are not usually as sweet as a traditional cookie, but pistachio macaroons are a particularly sweet nut cookie. Sometimes, nut cookies are simply called nuts, and are named by the type of nut cookie, such as a pistachio nut or an almond nut. If teatime comes and someone requests an almond nut, they are not likely seeking a literal almond nut, but an almond-based teatime cookie.

A pistachio is an edible nut that grows on a tree. When the pistachio is on the tree, it is found covered in a fuzzy skin much like a peach. Ripe pistachios are picked or shaken from the tree, peeled, and roasted. When roasted, the pistachio nuts tend to open like a steamed clam, which makes shelling and eating them by hand convenient, but they do not always split easily open. The pistachio tree is native to desert areas, and grows best in a sandy soil in a sunny location.

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