These slice-and-bake pistachio cookies are buttery, but not too sweet, and have a firm texture like shortbread. The chopped pistachios around the edges also give them a bright spot of color.
The cookies are about the size of quarters, making them the perfect one-bite treat – though they're also fun to eat by the handful!
The dough for these cookies is made in a food processor with flour, powdered sugar, butter, and a single yolk. Pulse everything together until it starts to clump together, then tip it out on your counter and gather into a ball. From there, just roll it into logs!
Let the logs firm up overnight in the fridge before slicing. They'll also keep just fine for several days, or for a couple of months in the freezer. Whenever you're ready for cookies, just slice and bake! (Thaw frozen logs overnight in the fridge.)
My instructions here make almost 100 of miniature, quarter-sized cookies. You can also roll the logs slightly larger to yield about five dozen cookies.
These little cookies make a fine gift packaged in cellophane bags, or save them for a party. Serve the cookies nestled on plates or a cake stand and don’t be surprised if guests grab them by the fistful.
Slice-and-Bake Pistachio Butter Cookies
This recipe needs to be made in a food processor in order to fully combine the ingredients for the dough. Do not attempt to make it by hand.
You'll have leftover chopped nuts after making this recipe. Save them for your next batch of cookies, or sprinkle them over your oatmeal!
Almond Butter Cookie Variation: Replace the pistachios with almonds. Reduce the vanilla extract to 1/2 teaspoon and add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.
- 3/4 cup (90 g) shelled raw pistachio nuts
- 2 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup (85 g) powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks, 198 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Finely chop the pistachios:
Place the pistachios in a food processor. Pulse until very finely chopped, but not so much that the nuts become powder or start to break down into nut butter. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
Make the cookie dough:
Into a food processor, measure the flour by scooping up the flour in the measuring cup and then sweeping across the top with the dull edge of a butter knife. Measure the sugar in the same manor. (Or weigh your ingredients.) Add the salt.
Pulse a few times to mix the dry ingredients. Cut the butter into a few chunks and scatter over the top of the dry ingredients. Pulse just until the mixture forms crumbs.
Whisk the yolk with the vanilla with a fork (this helps them mix more easily), and add to the food processor, scraping the small bowl with a rubber spatula so all the yolk is added. Pulse again in 15 or so long bursts, just until the dough forms large moist clumps.
(If your dough isn't forming clumps or seems very dry and crumbly, let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes to let the butter warm and soften a little more, then try pulsing again.)
Shape the dough into logs:
Turn the dough out onto the counter and use your hands to gather the clumps together to form a ball. Knead once or twice against the counter so the dough sticks together and looks smooth, but be careful of overworking. The dough should be smooth and pliant, like firm play-dough.
Use the bench scraper or a knife to cut the dough in half. Shape each half into a log that is 13-to-14-inches long and 3/4-inch wide, rolling them under your palms until they are smooth. Cut each log in half again to make 4 shorter logs.
Roll the logs in nuts:
Working one log at a time, roll the logs in the chopped nuts. Gently press the pistachios into the dough so the logs are coated.
Chill the logs:
Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least an hour. Logs can also be left refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. (If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge before baking.)
Slice and bake the cookies:
Set the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a small sharp knife to cut the chilled logs into 1/4-inch slices. If any nuts fall off, just press them back into the dough.
Arrange the cookies 1-inch apart on the baking sheet.
Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the nuts begin to brown at the edges:
The cookies should be set and firm but not golden. Lift the cookies, still on the parchment paper, to wire racks to cool completely.