Mother's Day Pistachio Treats

For Mother's Day this Sunday, plan a tea party centered around pistachios.

In addition to sweet pistachio treats, the following menu includes recipes for two savory pistachio spreads that top bread rounds or can be made into finger sandwiches.

PISTACHIO TEA CAKE COOKIES

1 cup shortening

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup finely chopped natural pistachios

Blend shortening, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, vanilla and lime zest. Stir in flour, salt and pistachios. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees 8 to 10 minutes or until baked but not brown. Remove to wire rack. When cool, sieve remaining powdered sugar over cookies. Makes about 4 dozen.

SWEET PISTACHIO TWISTS

1/2 cup finely chopped natural pistachios

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Dash ground cloves

1/2 (17 1/4-ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed

2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

Powdered sugar

Combine pistachios, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon and cloves. Unfold puff pastry and roll 1/8-inch thick into 12-inch square. Cut pastry in half and brush with melted butter. Spread pistachio filling over half of each pastry lengthwise. Fold unspread half of pastry over filling and press down.

Using sharp knife, cut into 3-inch strips. Twist strips, then place on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Makes about 24 twists.

PISTACHIO-SMOKED SALMON SPREAD

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

3 ounces smoked salmon, flaked or finely chopped

1/4 cup coarsely chopped natural pistachios

3 to 4 teaspoons lemon juice

Bread triangles or rounds

Pimiento strips

Chives or dill sprigs

Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until fluffy. Add smoked salmon, pistachios and lemon juice. Mix well. For tea sandwiches, spread onto bread triangles. Decorate with pimiento strips and chives. Makes 1 1/3 cups filling.

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