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Pistachio Orange Christmas Cookie


Everyone reaches for these Christmas sandwich cookies with eye-grabbing crushed pistachio edges. The combination of orange and pistachio is a winner, always.

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Rate this recipe 4.6/5 (8 Votes)


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling dough
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raw shelled pistachios, divided
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • Zest 1 orange, freshly grated and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk (or use 1 tablespoon milk and 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice)


Servings 10


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cream of tartar and baking soda. Set aside.

In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add egg and vanilla extract and mix until thoroughly combined.

Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, in thirds, mixing until just combined.

Form dough into 1/2-inch balls (about the size of a chestnut).

Roll dough balls in granulated sugar and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.

Bake until cookies are set but not browned, about 11 minutes. Cookies will puff up in oven, but flatten when cool.

Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

In food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse 1/2 cup pistachios until very fine (the nuts should almost clump together in a paste between your fingers). Set aside the other 1/2 cup for final cookie assembly.

In a bowl using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter with orange zest until light and fluffy. Add orange extract and vanilla extract and mix until thoroughly combined.

Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar, in thirds, alternating with milk (or milk and orange juice), beginning and ending with powdered sugar, and beat until smooth. You may add another tablespoon or so of liquid, if needed, to reach desired consistency.

Fold in pistachios, mixing until thoroughly incorporated.

Finely chop remaining 1/2 cup pistachios and place in a shallow dish.

Spread a generous dollop of filling on the flat side of one cookie. Place the flat side of a second cookie against filling, making a sandwich. Press gently just until filling is at edge of cookies.

Roll filled edge in chopped pistachios. Repeat with remaining cookies.

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