Semolina and finely ground pistachios add a nice crunch to these buttery shortbread cookies, which are a variation on an almond cookie recipe I developed last year. I was inspired to add semolina, a course flour made from durum wheat, after preparing nankhatai, a cookie popular in India and Pakistan. The recipe I used called for a couple tablespoons of semolina, along with yogurt, chickpea flour, and cardamom. Nankhatai biscuits are often decorated with whole almonds or pistachios. Borrowing that idea, I pressed pistachio pieces into the shortbread dough just before baking.
Pistachio Semolina Shortbread
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup semolina flour
3/4 cup toasted pistachios, finely ground, plus additional pistachios for decorating
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in semolina, pistachios, and salt until thoroughly combined. Add flour, stirring until just combined.
3. Shape dough into a disc, and flatten. If dough is too soft and sticky to roll out, cover in plastic wrap and chill until firmer. Roll out dough to around 1/8-1/4 inch thick, and shape using a round 2-inch cookie cutter. (If using different sized cookie cutters, adjust baking time as needed.)
4. Transfer to prepared baking trays and bake for around 10-12 minutes, until bottoms and edges of cookies begin to turn golden brown. Let cool on trays for a couple minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.
Yields approximately 27 cookies.