So, there’s a proposal to make milk “Tennessee’s official state beverage.” It seems like a state’s beverage should be something unique to that state, like, say, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, but I suspect the milk nomination is a nod to Purity Dairies. Feel free to enjoy either Tennessee beverage with a few Orange Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I couldn’t resist when I saw the tower of these cookies in Lora Brody’s  “Chocolate American Style.” That bright green pistachio crunch called my name. Pistachios and chocolate? Oh, yeah. I wasn’t sold on the orange zest and almond extract, but it turns out that they give the cookies a slightly floral aftertaste. A “what IS that?” kind of flavor that I like.

If you’re into homemade ice cream sandwiches, I’m thinking these babies would be dyn-o-mite! with a little coconut or chocolate ice cream. And I’m thinking I wish I’d thought of that before I ate the last two. Ah, well. Tomorrow is National Pistachio Day. The perfect day to bake another batch and pour another shot glass of Tennessee’s could-be state beverage.

Orange Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Lora Brody’s “Chocolate American Style”

Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups (11.25 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • Grated zest of 2 large oranges or 1/4 teaspoon orange oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (7.5 ounces) milk chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shelled pistachios, salted or unsalted, left whole
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, with the rack in the center position. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone pan liners or parchment paper.
  2. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl.
  3. In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on high until it’s light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well after each addition. Add the almond extract, orange zest and the flour mixture.
  5. Once the flour mixture is totally incorporated, mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.
  6. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart on the prepared sheets. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until they begin to brown around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. The centers should remain pale. (If you like flat, crisp, chewy cookies, slam the cookie sheets down on a work surface halfway through the baking time. If you like softer cookies, skip that step.) Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Bake the remaining cookies in the same way.