Pistachio Shotbread Cookies

There is something very decadent about these chocolate dipped pistachio shortbread cookies.

They are delightfully sweet but not too sweet and they have an addictive quality to them (in a good way).  If someone mass produced these and sold them at the grocery store, I would be hooked!

Why you will love this pistachio shortbread cookies recipe

These slightly crunchy cookies are quite simple, but also put out a vibe of elegance.  There is nothing crazy in the ingredients, in fact you probably already have what you need in your pantry. You will love the simplicity of this recipe and how delicious they turn out!

These are beautiful slice-and-bake cookies that can be displayed on a cute cookie tray.  The salty and sweet blend is the perfect combination that will make your mouth water. The chocolate coating cuts through the umami flavor of the pistachios for just the right balance. You are going to love them!

Tips

It’s important to chop the pistachio nuts very finely for this recipe.  I recommend using an old-fashioned nut chopper.  It looks almost like a strange food mill or grinder, but it chops the pistachios to just the right consistency that will be perfect for this recipe for pistachio shortbread cookies.

Ingredients

The two main ingredients that separate this recipe for shortbread cookies from the standard ho-hum shortbread recipes, are pistachio nuts and dark chocolate.

Pistachio nuts are an absolutely delicious nut that came from the Middle East.  When I was a kid, it was hard to find pistachio nuts and we usually had to go to our local Mediterranean store to find them.  We only bought them about once a year (for Christmas) and they were a very special treat.

Now, pistachios have become more accessible since they are also grown in California, not just in the Middle East.

When it comes to pistachio nuts, they are not the easiest buy for the budget, in fact, pistachio nuts can be quite expensive.  To cut down on the cost of pistachio nuts, I advise to purchase ones that are still in the shell.  You will pay a whole lot more if you buy pre-shelled pistachio nuts.

It might be tempting, since shelling pistachio nuts can be a little time consuming (and you might break a nail), but in my opinion, it’s worth it to shell my own pistachio nuts myself.

Also, make sure to buy salted pistachio nuts (or lightly salted).  Don’t accidentally get an exotic flavor like chili lime or cracked pepper pistachios.  That would most definitely ruin our recipe!

You will want to buy a quality bar of dark chocolate. I recommend buying a dark chocolate bar that is about 60-65% cacao.  The higher the percentage of cacao, the more bitter it will be.  You could go all the way up to 72% if you want, but I wouldn’t get any higher than 72% dark chocolate.

These are the ingredients for pistachio shortbread cookies:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  • Salt
  • Almond extract (optional)
  • Water
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salted pistachio nuts
  • Bar of dark chocolate (60-72% cacao)

How to make chocolate dipped pistachio shortbread cookies

Begin prep by shelling the pistachios and chopping them very finely.  You don’t want them to turn into powder, but you do want them ground up quite well.  I recommend using an old nut mill or nut grinder to do the job.  These kinds of grinders chop them up so that they are just fine enough and so that they are consistent in size.

In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the room temperature butter and cream it for about 30 seconds.

Slowly pour in the sugars then cream it together for another 2-3 minutes until fluffy, scraping down the bowl periodically with a spatula.  

Add the vanilla and almond extract and incorporate it.

Slowly add the salt and flour, mixing it on low-medium speed.

The cookie dough will be quite crumbly.  Add about 2 tablespoons of water and mix.

Gently fold in ½ cup of the chopped pistachio nuts.

The cookie dough may be slightly crumbly, if it is then knead the dough slightly with your hands until it just begins to come together.

Dump the dough onto a large square of plastic wrap.  Wrap it in the plastic wrap and roll and shape the dough until it becomes an 8-9 inch cylinder.  Wrap it tightly in the plastic wrap and roll it so that it gets packed together and so that its shape is smooth.  Place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.  It’s important that the shortbread dough becomes cold since this will make them slice up easier.

After the dough has chilled, remove it from the fridge and unwrap it from the plastic wrap and place it onto a cutting board. Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

With a sharp knife, slice the cookies into ¼ inch circles and place them on the prepared cookie sheets.  You want the cookies to be thin, but you also don’t want them to crumble as you slice them.

Bake them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until they just start to get golden on the edges.  Don’t overbake them or they will be too crunchy!  You can tell they are done when you barely notice them getting golden. I could tell they were done more by looking at the pistachio pieces, they looked toasted.

Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool to room temperature.

Melt the chocolate and dip the cookies halfway in the melted chocolate.

Place them on some wax paper or parchment paper and sprinkle a few pistachio pieces on the cookies before they harden.

Enjoy!

Equipment

  • Stand mixer with paddle attachment
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper

FAQ’s

What happens if you don’t chill shortbread dough?

If you don’t chill the shortbread dough before slicing and baking, your dough will crumble apart into pieces.  You should slice the cold dough then bake it immediately.  If the sliced cookies go into the oven at room temperature, they may lose their shape.

Should shortbread cookies be hard or soft?

Shortbread cookies should have a good little bite to them but not be crunchy.  They should not be soft like a sugar cookie either.  Somewhere in between the two options is perfect.

My shortbread dough is falling apart and crumbly, what do I do?

If you find that your shortbread cookie dough seems too dry, press it together with your hand to see if it comes together and holds its shape.  If it cannot be pressed together and hold its shape, then you may need to add some cold water to the dough to help it not be so dry and crumbly.  Add 1-2 tablespoons of cold water and mix it together.  You should be able to press the dough into a firm log after getting it to the right consistency.

Pistachio Shotbread Cookies

Print Recipe
Course Dessert
Keyword chocolate, pistachio, shortbread
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chill time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings 18 cookies

Equipment

  • Stand mixer with paddle attachment
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup room temperature butter salted
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract optional
  • 2-3 tablespoons cold water
  • ¾ cup finely chopped pistachio nuts salted
  • 6 oz dark chocolate any dark chocolate bar you prefer, I prefer 60%

Instructions

  • In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment add the room temperature butter and cream it on medium-high speed for 30 seconds.
  • While the mixer is still going, bring the speed down to medium, slowly add the sugars and cream together for about 2 minutes until very fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla and almond extract and mix.
  • On low speed, slowly pour the flour and salt into the wet ingredients until incorporated, the dough will be very crumbly.
  • Add 2-3 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough just begins to come together. It still will be slightly crumbly. Do not over mix.
  • Fold in ½ cup of the chopped pistachios, reserving the rest for garnish.
  • Dump the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap.
  • Press the dough together with your hands to begin to form a log.
  • Wrap the dough log up in the plastic and shape it into a tight cylinder about 8-9 inches long.
  • When the dough is wrapped tightly in the plastic, roll it on the counter to pack it tightly and make it smooth.
  • Place the dough in the fridge for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Unwrap the dough from the plastic and slice it into ¼ inch circles with a sharp knife.
  • Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet and bake them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the cookies just begin to get golden on the edges. You don’t want them to get brown on top. If the pistachios look toasted, then they are done!
  • Remove them from the oven and let them cool down to room temperature.
  • Melt the dark chocolate and dip the cooled cookies halfway in the chocolate then place them on parchment paper.
  • Before the chocolate hardens, sprinkle the rest of the chopped pistachios on top. Enjoy!