Pistachio White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chewy cookies with pistachio nuts and white chocolate chips.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Guest author Garrett McCord brought 2 dozen of these cookies over today. We inhaled them. ~Elise

Almost all of the pistachios grown in America are produced right here in California (we’re a lucky state, we are). It’s a surprisingly labor intensive crop that requires a lot of attention for yields that can greatly differ from year to year. Still, the crop is relatively new to the U.S.; up until 1976, almost all of the pistachios were imported from Iran until President Carter placed an embargo on the country. It was then California farmers started to plant the first pistachio trees here in America. Nowadays we can get pistachios from any local market and use their rich, mellow flavors as we please.

This cookie makes delicious use of pistachios, pairing them with white chocolate (or dark, should you so prefer). The original recipe came from an article in the Sacramento Bee by way of Jane Dewey, a wife of a local pistachio farmer. After a bit of tweaking I finally got them to come out the way I prefer them. I prefer using a brick of white chocolate and chopping it into chunks for a more rustic look, but white chocolate chips will do just fine. I also reduced the butter a bit and used kosher salt which gives a nice spark of contrast to the sweetness. Very chewy and amazingly good, I promise these cookies are keepers.

Pistachio White Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 6 dozen.


  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt (regular salt will suffice)
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups of coarsely chopped pistachios, raw and unsalted
  • 1 1/2 cups of white chocolate chips


1 Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cream the butter and sugars together on high speed for three minutes.

2 Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla and beat for 3 minutes, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

3 In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and rolled oats. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture slowly, being sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl once or twice to ensure even mixing.

4 Fold in the pistachios and white chocolate chips. Drop heaping teaspoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheets, add an extra pistachio or two on top of each bit of dough for decoration if desired.

5 Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to set up on the cookie sheets before moving to a baking rack to cool completely.

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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

More from Garrett


Baklava Recipe here on Simply Recipes
Wikipedia entry on pistachios
Pistachio Apricot Oatmeal Cookies from Epicurious
Pistachio Cocoa Nibs Cookies by Helen of Tartlette
Pistachio Cranberry Cookie Sticks by Mercedes of Dessert Candy

Showing 4 of 27 Comments

  • Mike

    I made the entire recipe to take to a gathering of 15 old college friends. Couldn’t find any raw, unsalted pistachios, so substituted roasted, salted ones and omitted the T of kosher salt. Only a cup of nut meats and a cup of Nestle’s white chocolate baking morsels, rather than 1 1/2 C of each. Some of the gang were tricked into thinking they had eaten macadamia nut cookies, but all–ALL–proclaimed that these cookies were “to die for,” and threatened dire consequences if I didn’t reveal the recipe.

    So, that’s 30 thumbs up!

  • Ana

    I made these cookies one day and they were gone within a couple hours! Everyone loves these cookies. They are amazing and everyone must make these once in their lifetime. I am wondering if I am able to turn these cookies into bars. Will i get the same texture? What size pan should I use, and should I make any adjustments to the recipe?

    As these are drop cookies I can’t say that they can be adapted to bars. If you test them out that way, though, I would love to know about your results! ~Garrett

  • Eileen

    I made these today and at first I thought they were too sweet, but as I kept going back for more, I realized they were sweetly addictive. Curiosity question: what is the effect of the extra minutes of beating in this recipe? I followed your instructions, since I knew you had your reasons, but since most cookie recipes don’t require it, you’ve got me curious why this one does.

    It just ensures a firmer cookie. ~Garrett

  • Virginia

    Phenomenal! Although I say this right after finishing a slightly warm one with some cold milk. All the elements of a classic cookie, but the white chocolate and pistachios give it just the right amount of surprise. Thank you! I’ll be giving these out for Christmas.

  • ellina

    I made these last night. I, too, think they spread too much – next time I’ll chill the dough before baking the cookies. I used brown butter instead of plain butter, and it gave the cookies the loveliest caramely aroma in the world! It totally complimented the raw pistachios. the house smelt divine while these were baking!

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Pistachio White Chocolate Chip Cookies