How To Make Pistachio Shortbread

Pistachio shortbread is simple, buttery sweet, salty, crisp and soft in one delicious cookie. The salty crunch from its crisp edges, soft and sweet buttery flavor in between- it's just pure bliss! These pistachio shortbread cookies are the perfect way to start the season.

It's October 1st but I'm already dreaming of the perfect Christmas cookie boxes. Each year, our Buckley bakery makes some pistachio shortbread because it just seems like a great idea at this time of year--the natural pink and green hues in these salty nuts mixed with buttery pastry are such an elegant balance to our sweeter holiday treats.

            close up 45 degree angle shot of pistachio shortbread - rectangle cookie on concrete background and parchment paper, with a rosemary sprig and cranberry and blush colored ribbon   

overhead shot with ingredients labeled for pistachio shortbread

Ingredients in pistachio shortbread:

(quantities in recipe card)

  • All purpose flour
  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Pistachio
  • Salt


  • Rosemary
  • Cranberry
  • Sprinkling sugar

Step by step how to make pistachio shortbread:

In a medium bowl, combine your flour, your salt, and crushed pistachio, set aside.

Cream your vanilla, butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides regularly.

Slowly add dry ingredients to your creamed butter and mix on low to create a dough.

pistachio shortbread process shot 6

Transfer dough to a floured surface and shape into a rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

pistachio shortbread process shot 7

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) and remove dough from the refridgerator. Slice into ½ inch slices.

pistachio shortbread process shot 8

Lay out on your baking sheet. Add optional garnish if desired. Bake at 350F for 10 min, or until the bottom is just starting to brown.


Let cookies sit for 15 minutes before transferring to a baking sheet to chill.

pistachio shortbread process shot 11

Frequently asked questions:

Can I use any nut instead of pistachio?

Yes, you can definitely add another type of nut or even dried fruit!

Can I make the dough in advance?

Yes, in fact I always have some cookie dough ready in my fridge for "emergencies" You can make the cookie dough up to one week in advance  tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, or in the freezer for one month.

Can I make these more crispy?

Yes. my husband loves a crispy shortbread cookie so I just bake his for an additional 4 minutes. 

Can I make these more salty?

Yes, just use salted butter if desired! We love salty shortbread. 


cover image close up shot of two shortbread cookies overlapping each other on a concrete gray background with vintage book pages.

How to make pistachio shortbread

5 from 4 votes
Print Recipe


  • 10 142 grams tablespoon salted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ 180 grams cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pistachios


  • Cream butter, vanilla and sugar in a large bowl with a hand mixer, or in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
    Scrape bowl down and add flour while beating on low.
  • Scrape bowl once more and mix until combined.

  • Shape the dough into a rectangle, cover with plastic wrap and chill the dough for an hour.

  • Preheat oven to 350F (177C).
  • Use a sharp knife to cut ½ inch slice rectangles
    Place slices, spaced ½ inch apart on parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet
  • Use a fork to poke holes in your cookie (any pattern is fine)

  • Bake for about 8-10 minutes

  • Remove from oven, let cookies sit for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire sheet to cool.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 124mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g
Servings: 12 cookies
Calories: 200kcal
Author: strawberrybuckley

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