Pistachio Shortbread Cookies ~ a classic buttery shortbread slice and bake cookie loaded with fresh pistachios. These easy cookies melt in your mouth!
Pistachio shortbread cookies are perfect holiday treats
I’m taking advantage of the surplus of nuts in the stores during the holidays to make lots of these buttery pistachio shortbread cookies loaded with freshly shelled nuts and a hint of vanilla. I used unsalted roasted pistachios packaged still in the shell, they’re fresher that way, and I used enough of them so that you can actually taste the pistachio flavor. Believe it or not, you can actually buy real Pistachio Extract for a more pronounced taste, and someday I may try that, but for me the vanilla and the nuts themselves make for a really subtle and unusual cookie. Depending on how thick you slice them, and precisely how long you cook them, they will either be crispy or buttery, it’s your call.
Tips for working with slice and bake dough
- Slice and bake cookies never turn out quite as perfectly round as roll out cookies, but they have a nicer texture, I think. They’re tender and crumbly, never tough.
- If you want to help insure that the log of dough stays round while it chills, you can wrap the log in a thick towel first.
- Make sure the dough is nice and cold, and use a sharp, serrated knife, I used a bread knife, and a gentle sawing motion to slice through the dough cleanly.
I keep a whole lineup of shortbread cookie dough logs in the freezer during the weeks leading up to Christmas
I can’t tell you how useful they are. We’re all about the easy cookies in the days leading up to the holidays and even though I always have lots of more complicated recipes on my to-do list, as the days before Christmas dwindle, I have to pare things down to the essentials. This is a rustic cookie you can really sink your teeth into, and about as easy as it gets…
A little stack of these cookies makes the perfect offering if you’re going visiting, or if people show up on your doorstep unexpectedly. Even after it’s baked, shortbread lasts a long time without going stale, so it’s really a holiday workhorse. I have lots of other shortbread cookie recipes on the blog, so check them out for more inspiration.
- Douglas Fir Shortbread Cookies
- New Fallen Snow Shortbread Cookies
- Maple Walnut Shortbread Cookies
- Double Dark Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies
Package your cookies in sturdy boxes for giving
I use decorative take-out style boxes for small cookie gifts, not only because they look great, but they’re sturdy so you don’t have to worry about crushing all your hard work. They’re small enough that you can make a nice gift out of just a few cookies. You can find them all over the place, mine are from Cost Plus.
Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup whole pistachios
- Cream the butter and the sugar together.
- Beat in the vanilla.
- Whisk together the flour and cornstarch. Blend them into the butter and sugar, until it forms a dough.
- Stir in the pistachios and make sure you get them well distributed in the dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form it into a log, about 9 or 10 inches long. Wrap it in the plastic and smooth it into a uniform smooth shape, twisting the ends to secure.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Slice the dough into 1/4 – 1/3 inch slices and place on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Thinner slices will bake up crispier, and thicker ones will be more buttery and soft.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, maybe a little longer for thicker cookies. The cookies will still be pale and soft, but will firm up as they cool.
- Cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then cool completely on a rack.
Questions and Reviews
I made these cookies with the following additions @ the time I added the vanilla:
1/2 tsp. Ground cardamom
1 tsp. Crushed saffron threads (I used saffron sourced from the Middle East that a Persian friend had gifted me)
The cookies didn’t last: everyone loved them!!!
I have now used this recipe over six times and it never fails! It is a family favourite, and today I swapped out vanilla and pistachios for almond extract and glacé cherries and I have the most delightfully pink dough chilling in the fridge! Thanks for sharing such a solid, delicious, and easy recipe!
I should add that as we are a vegan household, I use plant-based margarine baking sticks and the cookies still turn out perfect! Buttery and crispy without the dairy!
That’s great to know Nikki, I have all sorts of shortbread cookie recipes so this is useful, thanks.
Now you have me wanting to make the cherry version 🙂
These sound amazing! I wonder if we can use chocolate covered pistachios for this recipe? I picked up a bag a Costco the other day!!! ????
I don’t see why not!
These sound amazing!! I want to make them tomorrow i do have a question, do you chop the nuts?
I did not for this recipe, but you can if you prefer to do it that way.
I made these and they were amazing!!!! I dipped them halfway in dark chocolate.
That’s a brilliant idea 🙂
Tried it and loved it…. thank you so much for sharing
I don’t have corn starch but would love to try this tonight. Can I substitute the cornstarch with almond flour?
That should work fine, and you can also just use all regular flour.
Found cornstrach so all is good. Is it normal to have the dough crumbly before being chilled? This is my first time making shortbread!
The dough should be thoroughly combined and not be too crumbly May. But shortbread does have a crumbly texture after being baked, if that makes sense.
Just read Michelle Lewis comment – ‘turned off the oven and did the traditional drying of shortbread until oven cools w door ajar’.
I have never heard of this and would love to know more. Sounds interesting and would love to know why and how it effects the final result.
I hope you have the answer for me Sue. 🙂
Stumbling in rather late, again! Your pistachio shortbread cookie reminded me of a wonderful pairing of pistachio with cardamom, often used in the royal Mughal desserts of India. This recipe could perhaps be a nod in that direction by mixing in about 1 tsp of cardamom powder with the sugar and omitting the vanilla. Will the exclusion of the liquid of the vanilla change the texture of the shortbread?
Thank you so much for the recipe, I made them for my dad for father’s day, I don’t know what he thinks yet because it’s a surprise. I tasted them though and they were great, I made smaller rolls so I ended up with over 50 cookies. I would make these again.
Great, I hope he loves them Kasey!
Add mini chocolate chips and this is my FAVORITE recipe ever. I could eat a whole batch at once.
Ooooh I like that!
Has anyone tried adding cranberries to recipe? I’m going to try!
I like the way you think! You could add dried or even fresh.