St. Pat's Pistachio Cookies

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St. Pat's Pistachio Cookies

star rating (21) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

Green energy, green business practices, green gifts… everything’s going green these days! Including these taste-tempting green pistachio cookies, the ideal St. Patrick’s Day treat. P.S. Step-by-step photos illustrating how to make these cookies are available at Bakers’ Banter, our King Arthur blog.

1/2 cup (4 ounces, 1 stick) butter
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) vegetable oil
1/4 cup (2 ounces) water
1 large egg
2 packages (3.4-oz. each) pistachio instant  pudding mix, Jell-O brand preferred*
1/8 teaspoon pistachio flavor OR 1  teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 to 2/3 cup 2 1/2 to (3 1/4 ounces) chopped pistachios

*Jell-O gives the best color. Your cookies won’t be nearly as green if you use a store brand.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

Beat the butter, sugar, and vegetable oil in a bowl till combined, then add water and egg, beating until smooth. The mixture will look curdled at first, but will become creamy as you beat. Add the pudding mix, pistachio flavor, salt, and baking powder, beating until smooth; the mixture will turn a lovely pastel green. Stir in the flour and nuts.

Drop the dough by the tablespoonful (a tablespoon cookie scoop works well) onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2" between cookies. Flatten the cookies, if desired, using a fork, the flat bottom of a drinking glass, or the end of the pusher from your food processor. If you don’t flatten the cookies, they’ll bake up in softly flattened mounds; they’re lovely either way.

Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, until they’re starting to brown on the bottom. Remove them from the oven, and cool right on the pans.
Yield: about 32 cookies.


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  • star rating 03/07/2015
  • Babs from Charlottesville
  • Several years ago I had made these cookies using both the pistachio flavor and pistachios, and they were good but nothing special; however, after reading the reviews, I substituted chopped sliced almonds for the pistachios, and 3/4 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp almond extract for the pistachio flavor. I used a #40 scoop and pressed them down with a cookie stamp that was dipped in green sanding sugar, baked for 14 minutes, and they were perfect. They taste great. I definitely recommend using the almond substitutions.
  • star rating 12/26/2013
  • Pawla656 from KAF Community
  • If you save the pistachios aside you can pipe this dough or even use a cookie press (shamrock shape for St. Pat's, tree shape for Christmas...etc). Before baking, sprinkle with the finely chopped pistachios. For Christmas, I pipe the dough with a large star tip and press half a maraschino cherry in the center, then bake. Dust with 10X after cooling.
  • star rating 11/20/2012
  • Barb from Cincinnati
  • The best pistachio taste - I often substitute ground pistachios for a small amount of the flour. Have to make at least a double batch each year at Christmas! They also freeze well.
  • star rating 03/15/2012
  • gosz from KAF Community
  • I've made these for St. Pat's Day every year since I saw them in the Baking Sheet. I can't find my old Baking Sheet anymore so I'm glad this is on the website. My family and coworkers really enjoy them.
  • star rating 02/17/2012
  • Stacey from Tucson, AZ
  • I really, really wanted to love these cookies. Pistachios are one of my favorite nuts, and who doesn't love cookies, so it seemed like an amazing idea. Unfortunately, the cookies had a strange mouth-feel -- almost clingy -- and a chemical, processed taste to them. I think this is entirely due to the instant pudding ingredient. Sorry, KAF, you missed the mark on this one, and I'm going to keep looking for another recipe that only uses real pistachios (or real pistachio paste) and skips the dubious chemical-wonder ingredients.
  • star rating 03/15/2011
  • soupernan from KAF Community
  • These are great cookies! I used a few drops of almond extract along with half the vanilla, cut the sugar back slightly, and added finely chopped slivered almonds (1/2 C) for the nuts. I mixed the batter in my Kitchen Aid, rolled into walnut size balls and pressed firmly with a celtic cross cookie stamp until they were about 1/4". I baked until just set, about 14 minutes, when the bottoms were just slightly beginning to color. They held the imprint very well. Don't bake too long or they get rather hard. Each recipe made 3 dozen for me. I am making 360 for a Church Reception as everyone who did the taste test loved them!
  • star rating 03/14/2011
  • lindasuelohselange from KAF Community
  • Extremely easy to prepare. I used I used a store brand (Fastco from Fareway stores) which yielded a good green. Anything more green would have been too artificial. I measured half a cup of salted shelled pistachios and chopped them fine in food processor. I'd suggest almond flavoring instead of vanilla. I used grapeseed oil for the variety of vegetable oil. Edges of the cookies were a pale beige about the same color as the larger bits of pistachio nuts in the dough. Using my smallest pastry scoop 3/8 ounce capacity, recipe yielded 60 cookies 2 inches in diameter. The impression from a decorative cookie stamp did not remain in the dough. These do not spread hardly at all. I used a scrap of parchment between dough and bottom of a juice glass for fast pressing of the dough. Will try the lemon pudding and poppyseed version someone suggested, along with some other flavor experiments. Great recipe!
  • star rating 02/14/2011
  • Araviel from KAF Community
  • I just made a version of these using lemon pudding mix and 1/8 cup of poppy seeds. I added some lemon zest, & some lemon extract as well as the vanilla. Yum! I'm thinking of using cheesecake pudding mix and doing thumb prints with either preserves or pie filling next. Strawberry cheesecake thumb prints anyone?!
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