pistachio pudding shortbread + rosewater caramel slice

pistachio custard shortbread + rosewater caramel slice

Well, we’ve moved again. I feel like I’m always moving. This is partly because I actually am in constant transit, living out of a cabin during the week, traveling frequently on the weekends, and only seeing my ‘home’ a handful of days each month. On those brief occasions when I have time to zen out in my kitchen, I hope for the best. And this past weekend, right before the spectacle that we call moving house commenced, I zenned myself this delicious four-sticks-of-butter dessert.

This was an idea that sparked into existence after reading about Mary’s pretty Nanaimo Bars last week. She had me thinking about pudding. Thinking about pudding begat a shimmery remembrance of the perennially-delicious Custard Shortbread made with Bird’s Custard Powder. Thinking about a product I no longer have easy access to led me to see what was available to me in the baking aisle. Hence, realization dawned upon me that I could make delicious shortbread with any kind of pudding known to man.

So, duh, I chose to light up my soggy moving weekend with an electric green Pistachio Pudding Shortbread.

pistachio custard shortbread + rosewater caramel slice

But this slice, already off to a roaring neon start, was destined for additional greatness. As I peered into a fridge filled with things to be used up or thrown out, this recipe with only two sticks of butter in it seemed somehow unfinished.

A caramel sauce, made to harden in the fridge, and yet soften nicely when brought to room temperature, was flavored with rosewater – the perfect and classic pistachio pairing.

Could it get any tastier? I believe not, because lordy, I am smitten. Smitten with this incredible treat, which is as versatile as it is pretty. A quick dessert, a workday snack, an easily portioned-out eye-catching party dish. This shortbread touches all the bases.

Pistachio Pudding Shortbread + Rosewater Caramel Slice {recipe by myself}

Makes one 8″ x 8″ pan (16 large, 20 medium slices)

For the shortbread:

16 tbsp (two sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 package pistachio pudding powder
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. sugar
2 c. flour
3/4 tsp salt

Combine butter and pudding powder in a large bowl and mix well. Add in sugars and salt, mix to combine.

Sift flour into mixture in two batches, mixing well. Press into an 8 x 8″ cake pan. No need to score shortbread ahead of time, but prick all over with a fork or chopstick.

Bake at 350 F for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown around the edges and set in the middle. Cool in tin ten minutes before pouring caramel on top.

For the caramel:

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1/3 c. sugar
1 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
2/3 c. corn syrup
1 tsp salt
1/3 c. heavy cream
2+ tsp rosewater

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine all ingredients except rosewater. Cook over high heat (stirring is not necessary) until caramel reaches the hard ball candy stage, or 250 F. Remove from heat, and allow to cool five to ten minutes. Mix in rosewater to taste – if you add the rosewater when the mixture is still very hot, the flavor of rosewater will disappear.

Pour slightly cooled mixture onto shortbread. Place in the refrigerator (with a hot pad underneath initially) and chill at least two hours. Cover the slice with plastic wrap if desired.

To serve, remove from refrigerator 20-30 minutes prior to serving, or microwave for ten to fifteen seconds. So delicious.


Speaking of delicious, we made some French toast out of croissants sliced in half during a few minutes of moving downtime on Memorial Day. And by we, I mean my boyfriend made them while I laid on the floor and squeezed in some serious cat time. She’s so cute!

Let me know if this post looks funky. Suffice it to say (and I’m an excellent sufficer), it’s been an insane week. I’m finishing this post up on my phone from the NY LaGuardia airport. Hence, I have no clue what it will really look like.

Vacay, here we come!


17 thoughts on “pistachio pudding shortbread + rosewater caramel slice

  1. Vacay! Well deserved for a hard-working lady like yourself. And blogging from your phone! Girl, you and your technology. I hope the move went smoothly. Will you still have space to grow things?

    I totally dig this recipe. Pudding mix in shortbread sounds like a win. The caramel topping makes me swoon. I have a bottle of orange blossom water that I bought well over a year ago that I have yet to open. Eep.

  2. How did I miss this post?? I will randomly blame it upon your posting it via your new fancy phone instead of via a browser like normal…perhaps your mobile-awesomeness neglects RSS (BTW I hope you’re liking said fancy phone)!

    REGARDLESS. I am so proud to have aided in your creation of this AMAZING-looking recipe! My dad used to make a really tasty pistachio pudding when we went backpacking, so any desserts with pistachios in it makes me think of him. :D Perhaps he will get this for Father’s Day!

    Suffice it to say (as I often suffice things as well), this looks lovely and so delicious! Buttery-badness be damned! /licks screen

    Have a good vacation!

  3. Oh, that blue-eyed cat.

    Moving is the best and the worst. I love the feeling of a fresh start and playing house and getting to know a new place…but it’s so utterly exhausting.

    I cannot even comprehend how good this must taste, although we don’t have anything resembling pistachio pudding in New Zealand. Flavours such as chocolate and strawberry and so on, but pistachio! Oh my.

  4. yay for vacation! do i get a postcard??? :)
    you completely deserve to get away for a few days; you’ve been so busy! and i love that you made pistachio pudding shortbread…i’m dying to try it. I’ve often wondered about Bird’s Custard Powder, in general (because we don’t have it here, and Nigella talks about it all the time) and i had NO idea there was such a thing as custard shortbread.
    no idea!
    that you chose the electric green pistachio pudding to make this only solidifies our bond. LOVE.

  5. Wow, these look awesome! I’ve never heard of pudding shortbread but it sounds like something I have to try. Have fun on your vacay!!! Also, your cat has the prettiest eyes :)

  6. Oh, that kitty–not only cute, but sweet too! I believe that she is going to miss rolling around on that soft carpet…
    Really nice, un-funky post. Looks absolutely delish:D

  7. Good luck with the move, dear one! I can attest to the fact that through words and images alone, I too am smitten with this treat of yous. Rosewater! Pistachio! Caramel! PSYCHIC CAT!

    Alayna can attest to the fact that, in a manner of days (combined with three weeks before this in another house with cats), I may have become a cat person. A little bit. SOME CATS Are AMAZING AND I NEVER KNEW.

    Tell Psychic Cat this. Wait, no. Psychic Cat would already know.

    Take care darl’. xo

  8. Emma, what a nomadic life you lead! Damn, I’m impressed that you are making tasty 4 stick desserts in the midst of your move.

  9. Oooh, moving! Somehow that seems to have happened very quickly. Hope it turns out to be everything you’re hoping for … including travel next year :)

    I’m so slow, you’re probably back from your vacay already but regardless I hope you have/had a great time!

    Your kitty has adorable eyes, I love the colour!

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