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Chocolate Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

chocolate and pistachio shortbread dipped in chocolate ganache and sprinkled with pistachios

It's National Cookie Day and I wanted to create a new tasty cookie to celebrate.  These Chocolate Pistachio Shortbread Cookies are melt in your mouth delicious and look so beautiful and festive.  I have been SO in to pistachios during this Covid pandemic.  We never have less than at least three huge club size bags here - shelled, unshelled, sweet, spicy - I'm not fussy, I just love a handful as a snack when I am working.  Even right now I have roasted, lightly salted, chili, BBQ chipotle and honey roasted in the pantry!   

I knew I wanted pistachios in this cookie and I knew I wanted a shortbread type cookie.  I love shortbread but don't make it very much which is kind of funny being that my mum is 100% Scottish.  My initial idea was to do a sliced roll shortbread cookie with a swirl of Nutella, chocolate chips and chopped pistachios running through it, but it was just one of those days that everything went wrong.  I was out of Nutella - HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN?!?!?!  (Don't worry - I have rectified that.)  Then I rolled the dough out too thin and the logs just crumbled into pieces.  I ended up kneading all the dough back together with the chocolate chips and pistachios in it and what I ended up with was SO delicious that I decided that this was how it was supposed to be from the get go.  Don't you love when accidents like that happen???

So here it is, a quick and easy chocolate pistachio shortbread cookie which I partially dipped in more melted chocolate and sprinkled with additional chopped pistachios.  They are so yummy my hubby has not been able to stop eating them.  (He had eaten at least six before I even got them dipped.)  Dipping these is completely optional, but I think it makes them look just beautiful, and who doesn't like some extra melted chocolate on their cookies?!?!?

A couple of tips for this recipe:

  • Shortbread is crumbly, therefore this dough can be quite crumbly.  However, it WILL come together if you use your hands and press it.  I have found that it is easier to work with if I add just a few drops of water - only 1/2 a tsp at a time, until it just starts coming together - so I have included optional water in the ingredients list.  If you are a shortbread purist, you can leave it out, but if you want some help making the cookies easy to work with, you can add it like I do.
  • You can use a mixer or a food processor to make this dough.  Just make sure your butter is at room temperature before starting.
  • You can make these round, square or rectangular by forming the dough in to a log and then slicing - I've done both round logs and rectangular logs easily.  Just make sure whatever shape you choose they are about 1/2 inch thick. (You can also roll the dough to 1/2 inch between two pieces of parchment paper and freehand cut them.)
  • I sometimes substitute pecans for the pistachios which are just as delicious.  You could really use any chopped nut you like!

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped plain or lightly salted pistachios, shelled
  • A couple tsp water, (optional)
For garnish, (optional)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp shortening or coconut oil
  • Additional chopped pistachios
  1. Cream together the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla extract, scraping down as needed.  
  2. Add the flour and mix until incorporated, scraping down as needed.  
  3. Mix in the chocolate chips and pistachios until incorporated.  Your dough will look sort of sandy, but should stick together when you use your fingers to squeeze it.  (At this point you can add a few drops of water here to help it bind - just add 1/2 tsp at a time while mixing or pulsing until it just starts coming together.)
  4. Use your hands to press and roll the dough in to a log, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 60 minutes.  
  5. Once the dough is chilled, pre-heat your oven to 375 and line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.  (If you are using a smaller baking sheet you might need two.)
  6. Remove the log from the plastic wrap, slice it in to 1/2 inch slices and place each slice on the prepared baking sheet.   
  7. Bake at 375 for 11-14 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges.  They will still be soft, but will firm up as they cool.
  8. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.  Once completely cooled, you can garnish or just store covered for up to a few days.  (Cookies can be frozen to keep longer - if you are going to freeze, don't garnish with chocolate and nuts until you take them out of the freezer.)  
For the garnish:
  1. Melt together the chocolate chips and the shortening or coconut oil in the microwave in 30 second increments for 1 to 1-1/2 mins on high until melted, then stir until smooth.  
  2. Partially dip each cookie in melted chocolate and place on wax or parchment paper on a baking sheet - immediately garnish with some additional chopped pistachios so that they can stick to the chocolate as it dries.  (To dry faster put them in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes.)

chocolate and pistachio shortbread dipped in chocolate ganache and sprinkled with pistachios

Chocolate Pistachio Shortbread Cookies on a piece of parchment paper


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