NY & Chocolate Dipped-Pomegranate Pistachio Shortbread

The holiday season is rocking my life! Anyone else NOT nearly complete with their Christmas shopping? Yah, feel free to scream into a pillow alongside me. We just got back from visiting the family up in New York. Everyone stayed up North but our division of the tree. Always gotta live outside the box I guess. It makes seeing everyone all the sweeter though, there are some serious DeSousa characters.

Friday, I almost got arrested in New Jersey for taking pictures of graffiti. A bank worker accused me of taking pictures of their security camera. I guess walking around snapping pix at 8AM in your sweats and hoodie is a big no no in the ghetto. It was good lighting!! In typical fashion- I did not appreciate how this person addressed me and fired back. My brother could hear my angry chirps from inside the store and slowly came out of the building. He found me sitting in the car cheesing. My mother was shaking her head as the threats flew and I was accused of casing the building. Only my life...

If you are ever in the shithole that is Newark, NJ (I can say this- I've been making this trip since I was a baby) you must, absolutely must, go to the Riviera bakery. Americans don't know jack about making bread- the toast alone is a meal. Ask for a galao, mista, and a pastel de nata. They have the best chocolate croissants in the states I have yet to encounter. Feel free to prove me wrong.

Saturday was lazy because we were tired from the drive. Had a late lunch, ran errands, and then enjoyed a family dinner at my uncle's house. My mom of course out did herself in the kitchen. The cousins were adorable and hyper. They beat the crap out of me and Joey but it's so worth it.

Once things calmed down, off to Brooklyn to meet up with cousin Michael. He shares an apartment with his girlfriend and they were hosting a 90's dance party. Saw some NY friends, danced, met new people, lil drinky poo, and if it wasn't for the damn frigid breeze I never would have left the roof. His girl still has a Polaroid camera... this made me way too happy.

Sunday was the return and I got some time with my wifey whose in town from Cali. Overall, not too shabby.

Know what else isn't too shabby? These Chocolate Dipped-Pomegranate Pistachio Shortbread. The shortbread by itself is addicting. I kept eating pieces before they were even baked.

There's pomegranate juice mixed in with the chocolate and arils embedded in the dough. I thought the ground pistachio added so much flavor! It wasn't overpowering but livened things up. The only criticism I received was take out the juice from the chocolate- but that's from a non-Pom lover. These shortbread cookies are delicious! Plus, think how nice they'll look on the table? They're soooo easy to make!

Makes about 40 pieces, depending on the shape!

Chocolate Dipped-Pomegranate Pistachio Shortbread
by Visions of Sugar Plums

1 cup Wonderful pistachios, toasted
1/2 cup quick oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
1 cup POM Wonderful pomegranate arils
2/3 cup POM Wonderful pomegranate juice
2 cups dark chocolate chips

Process the pistachios in a food processor until finely ground, and add to a medium bowl. Process oats until finely ground, and add to bowl. Whisk in flour and baking powder until combined.

In a large bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in milk and flour mixture until combined, about 1-2 minutes. Form dough into two discs, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for forty minutes or until cold.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat cookie sheets with cooking spray.

On a lightly floured surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll each disc into a 11x8-inch rectangle. Slice rectangles into rows 5x4, and transfer squares to cookie sheets. Bake for 5 minutes and remove from oven; press an even amount of pomegranate arils into cookies. Continue to bake an additional 10-12 minutes or until cookie edges are golden brown. Cool for 1 minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Bring pomegranate juice to a simmer, in a small saucepan, over medium low heat; turn heat off and whisk in chocolate until melted and smooth. Dip shortbread into chocolate, and place on wire racks to dry.