Crispy Pistachio-Cardamom Cookies (for serving as cookies)
Makes 80 1 1/2” cookies or 40 3” cookies
This recipe produces crispy cookies that are perfect for serving on their own, with a cup of tea, or as part of a mixed plate of Christmas cookies. (Crisp cookies aren’t suitable for ice cream sandwiches because they’re too hard to bite through when frozen.) In a pinch, if you can’t find raw pistachio nuts, buy roasted, salted nuts (Costco often carries these), rinse off the salt, and dry them very well before using in the recipe. If you have a convection oven, you can bake multiple sheets of cookies at one time; if not, bake the cookies one sheet at a time.
1 cup shelled, unsalted pistachio nuts
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 – 2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground cardamom (1 1/2 tsp. if using pre-ground cardamom)
Coarse sugar crystals for topping the cookies
Extra pistachio nuts for topping the cookies
Preheat the oven to 325°F (or 300°F convection).
Add the pistachios and sugar to a food processor or blender, and process just until the pistachios are finely ground.
Using the mixer’s whisk attachment, cream the butter and half the pistachio sugar until they are light and creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed. Mix in the remaining pistachio sugar.
Sift together 1 3/4 cup flour, cornstarch, salt, and ground cardamom. Using the mixer’s paddle attachment, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Add the remaining flour, as needed; the dough should be pliable, but not at all sticky.
Divide the dough in half. Roll the halves out on a floured cloth until they are 3/16” thick (gather up the trimmings and reroll them). Cut out the dough with cookie cutters (I like 1 1/2” circles), and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpats. Sprinkle each cookie with coarse sugar crystals and push one pistachio nut into the center of each cookie.
Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until the cookies just barely start to brown. Remove from the oven, and use a spatula to place the cookies on wire cooling racks. Store in an airtight container.