We’re celebrating with these cookies today because it’s my BIRTHDAY!
I’m shameless about my birthday. I love it.
And I love celebrating for the entire week.
This year was no exception… the birthday weekend was in full force. I was able to spend a night out dancing with friends, a girls’ night out with my mom, and a night with my family. Of course, all with meals at my favorite places, and a ridiculous amount of wine.
I’m so thankful I’ve been able to celebrate with so many people I love this year.
For the past 4 years, FaceTime has brought me and my family together while I open presents and cut the cake over video chat whether I was in Baltimore or North Carolina. Not this year. This year there were real hugs, real laughs, and lots of sharing food and wine together.
I think 28 is going to be pretty good to me.
Especially because these cookies have entered my life. And now yours.
These cookie are a game-changer. They melt in your mouth with a texture that’s hard to describe. They’re slightly crisp, because of the butter to flour ratio, they spread a little creating a perfect “bite”. The middle remains soft and chewy with bits of pistachio througout.
The key ingredients: butter and pistachios.
There’s also the basics: all-purpose flour, vanilla extract, baking powder, salt, and an egg (yolk only in the dough!).
Remember a few paragarphs back when I mentioned the butter to flour ratio? These aren’t quite shortbread because the ratio is not that which creates that crisp shortbread texture.
The butter to flour ratio is almost equal in these (in weight – are you baking in weight measurements yet?!?) which means that yes, they will spread out some. There is also a higher percentage of sugar, resulting in a moist, chewy texture.
All of it combined also leads to that dreamy melt-in-your-mouth cookie. Not to mention the buttery, rich pistachios that are throughout. Match. Made.
Those pistachios? Try to get unsalted shelled pistachios to make your life easier. If you’re not able to find unsalted but they’re shelled, halve the additional salt from the dough.
Salted in the shell? I don’t find it to be enough salt to make a difference, you’ll just have some shelling work to do.
Key Recipe Steps
Finely chop the pistachios. You will want to get your food processor out for this step for a couple of reasons. One, it will make your life a whole lot easier than if you were to do so by hand. And two, the food processor is able to chop the pistachios much finer than you could (realistically) on your own.
The finer the pistachios are, the more even your cookies will be. Can you hand chop your pistachios? Yes, you can! In fact, I did here (hah, do I say, not as I do, isn’t that how the saying goes?!). As you can (maybe?) see, there are a few larger pistachio chunks resulting in a bumpier texture. It all just depends on your preferences!
Once the dough is mixed, you’ll form it into about a 12 inch log. The dough will be sticky, so try to work quickly, but nothing a lightly floured hand can’t handle.
You can use the plastic wrap to help shape the dough once you have a log shape. Then, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill the dough overnight.
This is going to help everything firm up and will ensure the cookies don’t spread too much (but remember, they will still spread somewhat).
After the cookies have chilled, remove the log from the plastic wrap and brush with the egg white you reserved from the day before.
The egg white is what the sugar and pistachio mixture will stick to, coating the outside of the log.
Then, slice the cookies approximately 1/4 inch thick and space evenly on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. I like to chill them again here since they’re likely to warm up in the process of coating them with the pistachio mixture.
Bake until slightly golden brown on the edges for the perfect texture!
Then, pour yourself a hot cup of tea (or coffee, or hey, they even go well with wine), cozy up, and enjoy one, or two, or three Pistachio Butter Cookies.
Love Pistachios? Try these recipes, too!
- Apricot Pistachio Cookies
- Mini Cranberry Pistachio Cheesecakes
- Savory Potato, Leek, and Rosemary Galette with Pistachio Crust
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe Pistachio Butter Cookies
- 1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup (132 g) granulated sugar, plus 2 TBSP (25g) for coating
- 1 unbeaten egg yolk, save the egg white
- 2 Tablespoon (30 g) heavy cream
- 1 tsp (5 g) vanilla extract
- 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsalted pistachios, divided, finely chopped
- 2 tsp (4 g) baking powder
- 1/2 tsp (3 g) salt*
- Using either a hand or standing mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the room temperature butter and sugar. Add the egg yolk, heavy cream, and vanilla extract, beating well until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 cup chopped pistachios. Mix thoroughly.
- Place the cookie dough on a large piece of plastic wrap, and lightly flour your (clean) hands to prevent the dough from sticking too much. Shape dough into a log, approximately 12 inches long. Wrap the log of dough in the plastic wrap until covered and chill overnight in the fridge.
- The next day, preheat the oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar with the remaining 1/4 cup finely chopped pistachios; set aside.
- Lightly beat the saved egg white and brush evenly onto the exterior of the dough log, coating it completely. Place the dough log on a baking sheet and pour the sugar-pistachio mixture on top of the log. Then, roll the log in the sugar mixture, pressing it into the dough as needed, until completely coated.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the log into 1/4 inch slices. Place the slices on a baking sheet (I always use parchment-lined baking sheets), leaving approximately 2 inches of space between each cookie. Bake for 7-10 minutes, until slightly golden brown along the edges. Let the cookies rest for 1-2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack. Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.
- If you’re not able to find unsalted pistachios but they’re shelled, halve the additional salt from the dough.
- Salted in the shell pistachios? I don’t find it to be enough salt to make a difference, you’ll just have some shelling work to do.
- 12/2020 Recipe Update: The coating sugar-nut mixture was reduced by half to eliminate excess waste (from 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup pistachios to 2 TBSP sugar and 1/4 cup pistachios).
This post was originally published in December of 2016; the photos and text were updated for clarity in December of 2020. Recipe changes noted in the recipe card.