Sugared Pistachio Cookies Recipe

Reader Contribution by Morgan Crumm
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My four-year-old has a sticker chart to incentivize learning her memory verses. For every 25 stickers on the chart, she gets to pick a special treat to make with mommy.

Usually I hand her a stack of colorful cookbooks, and she flips through the pictures till something special catches her eye. Sometimes she just comes up with her own idea, and we blaze our own trail.

When she asked to make pistachio cookies last week, I was inexplicably set on using a recipe, but my books were no help. Thus, I sort of adapted (read pretty much ripped off) April Bloomfield’s Pistachio Shortbread recipe, as seen here.

Now these cookies—the version you’ll see below, that is–are not at all what I’d call shortbread. Their texture is a more like a gingersnap: a little chewy, a little crisp.

I add a touch of almond extract, a bit more vanilla, and a pinch of cardamom for a little interest. Also, I roll the edges of the cookies in sugar before baking to perk up the visuals. Conventional wisdom suggests fashioning the dough into a log, rolling the log in sugar, then slicing and baking to achieve this result. I opt to scoop balls, flatten them, and then roll the edges in sugar because it is tough to roll this coarse dough into a tight log without sizeable air pockets.

My family agreed that these cookies deserve a spot in the standard cookie rotation around here. I hope your family will love them as well!

Sugared Pistachio Cookies Recipe


• 1 cup shelled, roasted, salted pistachios
• 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cups sugar
• 1 tsp coarse kosher salt (like Morton)
• 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
• 1/2 cup (I stick) chilled butter, cut into 12 pieces
• 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/4 tsp almond extract
• 1-2 tbsp ice water, as needed
• 2-3 tbsp granulated sugar, for rolling


1. Place the pistachios in the food processor and process 45 seconds or just till finely ground—do not let turn to pistachio butter. Add the flour, sugar, salt, and cardamom and process for about five seconds to combine. Scrape down the sides and around the bottom of the processor, add the butter and extracts and process about 10 seconds to distribute the butter throughout the mixture. With the processor on, drizzle in just enough ice water to bring the dough together.

2. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper, pat it into a disk, wrap it up in the parchment, and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

3. Position your oven racks in the centermost spots, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Place the sugar in a shallow bowl or dish.

4. Using a small cookie scoop if desired, make two-teaspoon-sized balls of dough and flatten with your palm or a flat-bottomed drinking glass (the cookies should be about two inches in diameter). Roll each disk through the sugar as if you were turning a wheel until the edges are well-coated, and space evenly between the two baking sheets.

5. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or till just beginning to darken around the edges. Allow to cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.

Morgan Crumm is a mother, blogger, recipe-developer, and real-food advocate based in Dallas, Texas. More of her work can be found at Being The Secret Ingredienta blog about food, life, and love. Read all of Morgan’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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