In Bhagavad Gita, one of the most profound philosophical and spiritual texts of all time, Lord Krishna advises Prince Arjuna to “renounce the fruits of action”. “You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work. You should never engage in action for the sake of reward,” teaches Krishna. As a student of yoga I strive to live up to these teachings; nevertheless, it does feel very glorious when Food & Wine emails you wondering if you would like to contribute a recipe, and it does feel even more glorious when the fruits of your work actually appear in Food & Wine. As you can see I am still far away from achieving spiritual enlightenment.
When Food & Wine asks you for a cookie recipe you cannot say no, and when Food & Wine says your recipe is “gorgeous” and they will run it, you cannot help but sit at your computer and hit refresh, refresh, refresh, until your recipe actually appears on the site. And you cannot help but gloat for a moment, until you realize that you have a massive typo in the amount of one ingredient and God help anyone who actually attempts to make these cookies. And you cannot help but email the Editor right away, late in the night, and then twist and turn in bed because your digital reputation is at stake. And you cannot help but feel relieved when the mistake is corrected and then gloat for much longer than a moment over the gorgeousness of your recipe.
I am definitely very far from achieving spiritual enlightenment.
(Just in case you are wondering about the Food & Wine recipe, it is Pistachio Orange Blossom Winter Cookies, the first photo in this post, Food & Wine post and recipe here.)
When your digital reputation is saved and when you still have plenty of pistachios and citruses left, you must make cookies to celebrate. So you roll up your sleeves and go to work on a new recipe and when it turns out mighty glorious you pretend not to care because once you’ve achieved fame, it is enlightenment you are now after.
Citrus Scented Pistachio Crisps
* 3 oz pistachios
* 1/2 lb butter
* 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1/2 cup light or medium bodied honey
* 1 tsp lemon zest
* 2 tsp orange zest
* 2 tbsp lemon juice
1. In food processor grind the pistachios into a coarse meal. (Make sure you do not over-process, as you do not want them to be powdery and there should be a couple of chunky pieces left.)
2. Remove the butter from the refrigerator and keep it at room temperature until it becomes soft. In a mixer fitted with paddle beat the butter with the granulated sugar until creamy. Beat in the honey, lemon and orange zest and lemon juice. Add the flour and pistachios and mix until uniform dough forms.
3. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a 5 1/2 by 3 1/2 inch brick about 1 1/2 inches thick. Wrap each brick in plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate overnight.
4. Preheat the oven to 325°F convection bake (350°F regular bake). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using sharp thin knife, cut the bricks into very, very thin slices (try for thinner than 1/8 inch if possible).
5. Bake the crisps for about 10 minutes. Remove the crisps from the oven as soon as the edges begin to turn golden. Let the crisps cool on the baking sheet for five minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
p.s. My favorite translation of Gita is by Eknath Easwaran.