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Cookies | Christmas | Pistachios

Pistachio Christmas Tree Cookies

These buttery and crunchy Christmas tree cookies packed with toasted pistachios and drizzled with white chocolate will look great on your festive cookie tray. 

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You will adore these simple pistachio cookies, made from shortbread dough which gives flaky cookies that melts in the mouth. Pistachio are star of this recipe making these cookies amazingly rich in taste, crunchy and decorative.

If you are looking for more festive cookies, check out our recipe for simple gluten-free Christmas cookies.

More cookie recipes you will love:

About pistachios

Nuts are always an excellent addition to the cookie dough, making it super delicious and nutty. In this recipe we use pistachios, lightly toasted in the oven to accent these amazing sweet flavour specific for pistachios.

Raw pistachios can be found at grocery stores or health food stores. If you can find them you can order easily quality pistachios online. If you love pistachio desserts why not to try our recipes for amazing muffins or rich chocolate truffles, both enriched with toasted pistachios.

Toasting pistachios in the oven deepens that beautiful pistachio aroma and makes them much more fragrant in the final cookies.

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How to make pistachio Christmas tree cookies

Making these cookies is easy and quick once you have ready all the ingredients. For the cookie dough and decoration your will need:

  • SHELLED PISTACHIOS: Toast them in the oven or on the stove until fragrant and lightly brown then process in a food processor until coarsely ground. Pistachios add some crunch to the cookies and sweet and nutty flavour.

  • A mix of PLAIN and SPELT FLOURS: We used this mix to add some extra taste to the cookies. The spelt flour makes cookies richer and more healthy.

  • COARSE BROWN SUGAR: Sugar gives super crispy texture to these cookies and slightly caramel flavour. Instead of brown sugar you can use also granulated sugar.

  • COLD BUTTER: We rubbed the butter into dry ingredients to get coarse crumbs. This way you will get small pockets of butter in the dough which makes them crunchy and delicious.

  • EGG YOLK: One egg yolk helps to bind the dough and give some texture to the cookies.

  • LEMON ZEST: Adds zesty refreshing flavour to the cookies.

  • WHITE CHOCOLATE: Broke into smaller pieces and melt in a double boiler. Be careful when melting, as this chocolate burn easily.

First toast the pistachios and then process them in a food processor to get coarse texture. Combine flour, sugar and salt in one bowl. Add cold butter cutted into smaller pieces and rub using your fingers until you get a coarse crumbs. Now, add egg yolk and grated lemon zest and form a dough. Leave it to set in the fridge for 1 hour.

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Shaping & Baking the cookies

Rolling the dough is the fun part of the making these cookies. You can do this on a floured work surface or a pastry mat.

We prefere crispy cookies so we rolled out the dough thinly (3 - 4mm). Be sure to use quality rolling pin to ensure even dough thickness. For cutting our cookies we used 7cm (8 inch) Christmas tree cookie cutter. Cut as much as possible cookies from the dough then knead the scraps again and cut again cookies as much as possible.

From this dough we get 24 large cookies. If you prefer smaller cookies use smaller Christmas tree cookie cutter or any other cutter design you prefer. 

Decorating pistachio Christmas tree cookies

These cookies are not only delicious but also attractive. Once they are baked and fully cooled let's decorate them. First melt white chocolate over the double boiler then drizzle it over the cookies.

In the end sprinkle the cookies with remaining pistachios to make them more decorative. Leave to set then serve these amazing Christmas cookies. 

Storing pistachio Christmas tree cookies

These cookies stores well in a airtight cookie-jar like this one. Also you can keep them in a metal box for 1 month. These cookies also freeze well but don't decorate them - just cookies. 

Making ahead pistachio Christmas tree cookies

These cookies are also great for making ahead. Once you cut the cookies, place them on the small tray and put in the freezer for 15 minutes then transfer to a ziplock bag. Once you want to prepare them, leave for 5-6 minutes at room temperature then bake as described in the recipe and decorate afterwards.

Keep baked and decorated cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days (layer with parchment or waxed paper to keep the decorations in tact).

The dough does not require refrigeration, however if you want you can make it up to 2 days ahead of time. Wrap tightly in two layers of plastic wrap and keep chilled. Before rolling, bring the dough fully to room temperature (let it sit out 1 to 2 hours), otherwise it will crack as you try to roll it.

Want to try more cookies? Take a look at these recipes:

If you need more cookie inspiration, check out our complete Cookie Recipe Collection!

Pistachio Christmas Tree Cookies

MAKES: 24 cookies
COOKS IN: 1 hour plus cooling time
LEVEL: Moderate


For the cookies

  • 105g (3/4 cup) shelled pistachios (3/4 for the dough + 1/4 for decoration)
  • 120g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 120g (1 cup) spelt flour
  • 80g (1/2 cup) granulated or coarse brown sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 170g (12 tbsp) butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon of grated lemon zest

For the drizzling

Wood Rolling Pin +
Pastry Mat

Ideal for rolling out cookie dough, pie crust and pasta!


  1. FOR THE DOUGH, spread pistachios evenly on a baking sheet and toast in the oven on 175°C (347°F) for about 4-5 minutes. Once toasted, remove from the sheet and cool. Blitz pistachios in a food processor until very finely chopped.

  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, coarse brown sugar and salt.

  3. Add cubed butter and rub into the dry ingredients until the mixture resemble fine crumbs. Add 3/4 pistachios (leaving the rest for the decoration) and an egg yolk and gently squeeze the mixture until it just comes together. Form the disc from the dough, wrap into a cling film and cool in the fridge for 1 hour.

  4. Heat the oven to 175°C (347°F) and line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. If baking with one sheet, leave it to cool completely before placing another batch of cookies.

  5. Dust the work surface and roll out the dough until 3-4 mm thick. Using a Christmas tree cookie cutter cut out the cookies and arrange them on prepared baking sheet leaving some space between cookies.

  6. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the bottoms just begin to brown. Remove the tray from the oven and leave cookies to cool on the sheet for a few minutes. Using a thin metal cookie spatula transfer the cookies on a wire rack to cool completely.

  7. TO MAKE THE DRIZZLE, broke the white chocolate into smaller pieces and place in a small heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and stir until melted. Leave to cool for 1 minute.

  8. Pour it into a ziplock bag, cut off a bit of the corner of the bag, then drizzle over the cookies in zig-zag motion. Sprinkle the cookies with remaining chopped pistachios. Leave to settle then serve.

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