You Should Be Adding Pistachios To Coffee Cake

Whether you create your coffee cake from scratch, use a boxed brand, or purchase it from a local bakery, there's no denying its comforting warmth. Have you ever considered incorporating pistachios into the mix? Given their crunchy, nutty, salty flavor profile, we think pistachios can elevate this dessert to new heights. Depending on how prominently you want to feature them, you can integrate pistachios into your creation in numerous ways. 

Start by roasting pistachios and finely chopping them for a delectable, crumbly topping. Alternatively, you can fold them directly into your coffee cake batter — but don't overmix it while adding them in. Another route is to incorporate pistachios into the streusel mixture between the layers of your coffee cake. For those who want to venture into even more uncharted territory, consider introducing coffee into your coffee cake to evoke the flavors of a pistachio latte. 

Surprising as it may sound, traditional coffee cake recipes typically omit coffee as an ingredient, despite the name. This delightful treat boasts an intriguing history that dates back to the 1800s, and the term "coffee cake" emerged from the practice of serving coffee, an expensive commodity at the time, as a display of affluence to guests. However, there's no reason not to break from tradition. The next time you whip up your favorite coffee cake recipe, do yourself a favor and don't forget the pistachios — or a splash of coffee.

Preserve pistachios' green color for a vibrant twist

Beyond infusing flavor into desserts, pistachios possess an unrivaled green hue, which can boost aesthetics in baked goods. Culinary Institute of America chef-instructor Aaron Brown told American Pistachio Growers that pistachios retain their vibrant green color until toasted. Therefore, consider making pistachio paste, which requires a careful process — but can keep their gorgeous green color intact.

Start by blending ground pistachios, sugar, and emulsifiers into a cohesive paste, but don't forget one crucial preparatory step. Blanching the pistachios instead of roasting helps with the nuts' breakdown, resulting in a smoother paste. After the paste is ready, you'll have various options for incorporating it into your baking endeavors. For example, you can directly add pistachio paste to your coffee cake. However, its applications extend further: Try it in macarons, buttercreams, and cakes to impart a beautifully nutty flavor alongside its sought-after green hue.

Pistachio butter also offers a multitude of culinary applications. Make an upscale twist on peanut butter and jelly featuring pistachio butter, honey, and date or fig jam. Alternatively, directly slather it onto a slice of your coffee cake if you aren't keen on changing your recipe. No matter how you integrate pistachios with coffee cake — or other pastries — you're bound to crack open a world of nutty goodness.