Pistachio Shortbread

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quick-n-easy
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Hands-on time:
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Total time:
Yield: 2 dozen shortbread wedges

Recipe photo

These crunchy, pistachio-topped cookies are a lovely, pastel shade of green - perfect for your "green theme" gathering, or St. Pat's Day, of course.

Pistachio Shortbread

star rating (35) rate this recipe »
quick-n-easy
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 2 dozen shortbread wedges
Published: 02/26/2010

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
  • 1 box (3.4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding mix, Jell-O preferred for best color
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon pistachio flavor,* optional
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2/3 cup shelled, finely chopped pistachio nuts, optional
  • *Use this flavor sparingly; it's strong, and a little goes a long way.

Tips from our bakers

  • What's the difference between baking these shortbreads in an 8" pan, vs. a 9" pan? About 1/8" in height. Surprisingly, they bake in the same amount of time; and you really don't need to increase the amount of nuts on the top of the 9", vs. the 8". The 8" pan will yield just slightly smaller, slightly taller, slightly softer shortbreads.

Directions

see this recipe's blog »

1) Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly grease two round 8" or 9" cake pans. If you worry about the shortbread possibly sticking in your particular pans, line them with parchment, and grease the parchment.

2) In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, pistachio pudding mix, sugar, salt, and pistachio flavor, then beat in the flour. The mixture may seem a little dry at first; keep beating till it comes together. If it absolutely won't come together, dribble in up to 1 tablespoon of water, until it does. This is a stiff dough.

3) Divide the dough in half. Press each half into one of the prepared pans, smoothing the surface with your fingers, or with a mini rolling pin.

4) Use a fork to prick the dough all over; this allows any steam to escape, and prevents the shortbread from bubbling as it bakes. Divide the chopped pistachios between the two pans, spreading them evenly and gently pressing them down onto the surface of the dough.

5) Bake the shortbread until it's a deep golden brown around the edges, about 35 to 40 minutes.

6) Remove the pans from the oven, and immediately turn each shortbread round out onto a clean work surface.

7) Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut each round into 12 wedges. (Do this while the shortbread is still warm; if you wait until it's cool, it won't cut easily.) Transfer the shortbread wedges to a rack to cool.

Yield: 24 shortbread wedges.

Reviews

1 234  All  
  • star rating 03/18/2015
  • Jessica from Takoma Park
  • A hit again this year at the St. Patrick's Day party. Used almond flavoring instead of pistachio which I did not have on hand. Worked fine, and the cookies disappeared fast.
  • star rating 03/17/2015
  • Lori from Dublin, Ohio
  • Made this shortbread tonight along with the traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner. It was delicious! I did need to add a bit of water and used vanilla extract instead of pistachio flavoring. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly and used KAF flour, as I do for all my baking. This shortbread has a lightly sweet flavor complimented nicely by the pistachio nuts. So tasty and easy to put together. Very pretty, too.
  • star rating 03/15/2015
  • cbsal from KAF Community
  • The taste and texture of this shortbread is excellent. I made it exactly as written, but added a little vanilla instead of the pistachio flavor because I didn't have any. My only fault with the recipe is that it was a bugger to get out of the cake pan. I used parchment and greased it, but when it was time to take it out, it would not budge and the first pan broke into about 20 pieces, leaving the parchment in the pan. I always feel compelled to eat broken cookies, so I can vouch for the excellent taste and texture. I was able to tease the second pan out with only a few minor breaks. Next time I make this recipe, I will pat it into free form circles on a cookie sheet as I do with all the other shortbreads I've made, thereby omitting the removing from the pan step.
  • star rating 03/15/2015
  • Margaret from Indiana
  • Will the pudding mix stain my shortbread molds?

    Since the pudding mix has some food dyes added, I would not use it in an unglazed ceramic pan. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  • 11/24/2014
  • from
  • Would this recipe work with cookie cutters? I think it would be worth a try! Most shortbreads can be cut with simple cutters. Put the nuts on after you cut it. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF
  • star rating 11/08/2014
  • fun size wife from KAF Community
  • I haven't made these yet, but I have 2 KAF shortbread mixes. Can I make this recipe using the mix and the pudding mix? Thank you! We haven't tried it with the mix yet. If you'd like to do so, measure out the amount of mix in the box so it corresponds with the dry ingredients in the recipe. Let us know your results, too! Hope this helps! Laurie@KAF
  • star rating 04/20/2014
  • ferndale52 from KAF Community
  • beautiful color, easy to make, wonderful taste and texture. i have made this several times, using 6 tart shell forms sometimes. this smaller version works out well for gifts. before sprinkling with the pistachios, i score the dough into fourths and then prick...makes it easier for recipient to split. have also tried with other pudding flavors and nuts, but the pistachio is truly the prettiest.
  • 03/22/2014
  • from
  • Made this for a reception. Forgot to use fork but it was ok. Also used salted butter but did not effect the taste. My husband loved it. He ate one pan himself. Color is beautiful.. Betty from east Tennessee
  • star rating 03/12/2014
  • jopalis from KAF Community
  • This is a very tasty recipe. I did not need any water and found the dough easy to work. I used 1/8 tsp of almond extract. Put some pistachios through my nut grinder and added a scant 1/4C to the dough. Didn't want them on top. I rolled into two long rolls and refrigerated in plastic wrap. I used dough about the size of a walnut and pressed my Celtic cookie stamps onto the surfaces. Baked about 13 minutes @350. Thanks! Slainte!
  • star rating 03/12/2014
  • Jo from Los Angeles, CA
  • This recipe is very tasty. I didn't want to put chopped pistachios on top. I put some through my nut grinder and put about 1/8 cup into the dough. I didn't find the dough to be too stiff and did not need the water at all. I rolled the dough into two long rolls, wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled. I used dough about the size of a walnut and pressed them with my Celtic cookie stamps for St. Patrick's Day. Baked about 13 minutes @ 350. They came out great. I also like that the recipe is not too sweet.
1 234  All  
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