Buttery Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Flaky, rich, and buttery these pistachio shortbread cookies are so easy to make and taste truly incredible! Each bite will quite literally, melt in your mouth! And the pistachios add a beautiful crunch, taking these cookies to a whole new level.

pistachio shortbread cookies

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About This Recipe

These cookies are made of a simple 3 ingredient shortbread cookie dough that has chopped pistachios added into it, so all you need is 4 ingredients! Optionally, they can be topped with a drizzle of white chocolate to make them look extra pretty!

They’re crispy on the outside and have a flaky, crumbly, and buttery interior. The pistachio shortbread cookies go perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee, but is exceptional even on it’s own.

What are shortbread cookies?

Shortbread is a traditional Scottish biscuit that’s made with 3 ingredients: sugar, flour and butter. Usually it’s made with the ratio of 1:2:3 for sugar: butter: flour, and it does not contain any leavening agents like baking powder or baking soda. It has a high fat content compared to other cookies, which gives it it infamous buttery and crumbly texture. Read more about the history of shortbread cookies here.

Why you should make these pistachio shortbread cookies?

  • Easy and quick: the recipe is simple and straight forward, it’s made with only 4 (or 5 if you’re using white chocolate) ingredients that are very easy to find in all grocery stores. Even if you don’t have much experience when it comes to baking you cannot go wrong with recipe because of how simple it is!
  • They look adorable: these cookies are perfect to make as a gift for you loved ones, or as a treat for parties, picnics, tea parties, or just for you and your family!
  • Taste incredible: if you’ve never tried shortbread cookies before, well, you are missing out big time! They are the most delicious butter cookies I have ever tried! They’re loved by people of all ages and trust me, they do not last long!

What You Need To Make This Recipe

Butter: it is very important that you use softened butter, otherwise it will be difficult be beat with the sugar. I say softened rather than room temperature, because the room temp. will vary depending on the climate, the butter should be soft, when you press into it, it should easily form an indent, but still hold it’s shape. See tip on how to quickly soften butter.

Flour: all you need is regular all purpose flour, I have not tried making shortbread cookies with any other type of flour, but if you have, let me know how it turned out!

Sugar: I usually use granulated sugar for shortbread cookies but powdered sugar will work as well.

Pistachios: I used half cup of pistachios, if you want more pieces of pistachios in your cookies, you could add up to 1/4 cup more. You don’t want to add too much though, otherwise the dough could be hard to cut into circles, and easily fall apart.

White chocolate: this is totally optional, I only added very little on top for presentation, so if you want you can skip this. White chocolate chips will work as well.

How To Make Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Step 1: Cream the butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy, this takes about 2-3 minutes. You can use a stand or hand mixer or even a spatula! If the butter is soft, it will be very easy to use a spatula.

Step 2: Add in the flour and finely chopped pistachios and combine. The mixture will look very crumbly.

Step 3: bring the dough together with you hands (see vid), pressing all the crumbs together to form a smooth ball. Transfer the dough onto a well floured surface and roll it out. Cut out your cookies, I used a 2 inch or 6 cm circle cookie cutter, then place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Chill the cookie cut-outs for at least 30 minutes or up to one hour.

Step 4: Once chilled bake for 17-20 minutes at 160 °C / 320 °F until the sides are slightly golden brown. Once baked, let the cookies cool on the tray for 5-10 minutes, then transfer onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Drizzle with white chocolate, sprinkle on some more chopped pistachios and enjoy!

Storing/Freezing Instructions

Store any leftovers in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

To freeze the baked pistachio shortbread cookies: Once baked, let the shortbread cookies cool completely, then warp them in a layer of plastic warp, and place that into a freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature, add on the melted white chocolate (if you want) and enjoy!

To freeze the unbaked pistachio shortbread cookies: Place the cookie cut-outs on a tray lined with parchment paper and freeze those for 1 hour. After 1 hour transfer the frozen cookie discs into a freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Once you’re ready to bake them, thaw in the refrigerator overnight (or at room temperature if you don’t have time), let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes then bake as usual.

Pro Tips

  • Here’s an easy hack to quickly soften butter: cut the butter into small cubes and place them onto a microwave safe bowl, then microwave at 20% power in 10 second intervals until the butter has softened (it should take about 20 seconds in total). Now you can use it to make you cookies!
  • Measure your ingredients properly, especially the flour, adding too much or too little can drastically change the texture of the cookies.
  • If you have a convection oven (oven with a fan setting), reduce the temperature by 20 degrees.
  • It’s important to add in the chopped pistachios with flour rather than adding it in after combining the flour, This ensure that they do no all end up at the bottom of the shortbread cookies.
  • You could also add some white chocolate chips into the dough along with the chopped pistachios for more flavor!
  • Chilling the cookies before baking them is a must if you want your cookies to hold their shape! When chilled the butter in the dough will harden up, so when you bake the cookies the butter will take longer to melt, reducing the amount of spread.
  • You could also drizzle on dark or milk chocolate instead of white chocolate if that’s what you prefer.
  • Let the cookies cool completely before drizzling on the white chocolate.
Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

FAQ’s

Can I make the shortbread cookie dough ahead of time?

You bet! But I’d recommend you make it only 1 day ahead, not any longer than that. Once you’ve made the shortbread dough, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it. Just let the dough sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before rolling then cutting out your cookies. Then chill the cookie cut-outs for 10 minutes before baking to make sure the cookies hold their shape well.

Can I add a different type of nut?

Of course, you can add any of you favorite nuts, just make sure to chop them finely and add them with the flour. Don’t add too much though, otherwise it will be hard to cut out your cookies. Some other nut options would be: walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, etc.

Can I make these cookies without the pistachios?

Definitely, you could make plain shortbread cookies. No need to modify the recipe in any way, just leave out the pistachios and follow the rest steps exactly and you’ll end up with the most rich and buttery shortbread cookies!

How do I know if the shortbread cookies are finished baking?

The sides will become golden brown and the top should be hard, the center however will be soft and look undone. but as the shortbread cools it will harden up, so let the pistachio shortbread cookies cool completely before you dig in!

Why are my shortbread cookies soft and mushy?

That’s probably because they’re underbaked. Just pop them back into the oven and bake for 3-5 more minutes depending on how underbaked they were.

Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

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Recipe Card

Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Flaky, rich, and buttery these pistachio shortbread cookies are so easy to make and taste truly incredible! Each bite will quite literally, melt in your mouth! And the pistachios add a beautiful crunch, taking these cookies to a whole new level.

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Total Time: 1 hrs. 30 min (includes chill time)

Course: Dessert/Cookies

Servings: 22 cookies

Calories: 158kcal

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened (200g)
  • 1 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all purpose flour (300g)
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, finely chopped
  • 40g white chocolate, melted (~1/4 cup)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until creamy and fluffy, this should take 2-3 minutes if you’re using a hand/stand mixer. ( If you’re doing this by hand it will take a few more minutes.)
  2. Add in the all-purpose flour and finely chopped pistachios(save some chopped pistachios for the top), and mix until combined. The mixture will be very crumbly.
  3. Now use your hands to bring the dough together then transfer it onto a well-floured surface. Press all the crumbs into the dough until you have a smooth ball.
  4. Roll it out into a square about 1 cm in thickness, then use a round cookie cutter (I used a 2-inch/6 cm diameter round cookie cutter) to cut out the shortbread cookies. Place the cookie cut-outs onto a lined baking tray and repeat the same process until you’ve used up all of your dough. Chill the cookies for 1 hour.
  5. Once the cookies have been chilling for 45 minutes, preheat your oven to 160 °C / 320 °F.
  6. Bake the chilled cookies for 17-20 minutes until the edges are slightly golden brown. Once baked let the cookies cool on the tray for 5-10 minutes, then transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. Drizzle on melted white chocolate however you’d like, garnish with some more chopped pistachios, and enjoy your pistachio shortbread cookies!

Nutrition

Calories: 157.88kcal

Total Fat: 9.36g

Carbs: 16.79g

Sugars: 5.87g

Protein: 2.16g

Fiber: 0.67g

Sodium: 2.98mg


** Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more. **

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