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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Pistachio/Cranberry Cookies

These cookies are fabulous whenever you make them, but they're especially festive in the fall and through the holiday season!

I resisted making them forever.  My mom makes these cookies and several times a year she brings us a batch.  They're so GOOD.  They disappear in no time.

I asked her for the recipe a few years ago, and to my horror there is packaged pudding in them.  The snob in me simply refused to make them.

I didn't refuse to eat them, however.  Every time my mom brings us a batch, I definitely eat my fair share.

Perhaps more than my fair share.

Don't be like me, stubbornly refusing to make these cookies.  Make them today!

Today's Playlist
  • "The Denial Twist"...The White Stripes
  • "Mr. Brightside"...The Killers
  • "Short Skirt/Long Jacket"...Cake
  • "Everylong"...Foo Fighters
  • "Buddy Holly"...Weezer
  • "Tell Me Baby"...Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • "1983"...Neon Trees

Pistachio Cranberry Cookies (Makes about 2 dozen cookies)
Printable Recipe
  • 2 sticks butter (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 package (3.4 oz) instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup roasted pistachios
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
for frosting: 1 cup white chocolate chips, 2 teaspoons shortening

Gather your ingredients.  

You can either: 
1. decide that you are going to bake your cookies immediately, in which case you should preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment OR 
2. decide that you want to just make this dough in advance and bake the cookies at some point in the future (the dough will keep for up to a week in your refrigerator, or you can freeze it and defrost at a later date).

In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter and confectioners sugar until fluffy.  I never wait for the butter to soften because I'm impatient and I know that my mixer is powerful enough to handle the butter when it is cold.  If you know that your mixer will only be able to handle softened butter, be sure to allow enough time for the butter to soften before you start mixing.

When the butter and confectioners sugar is fluffy, splash in the vanilla.

I sure have that bottle of vanilla in a death grip, don't I?  I guess I don't trust myself not to let go of the bottle and have it end up in the bowl.

After you've mixed in the vanilla, scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the flour...


...and pudding mix.  The pudding will change the batter a lovely shade of green.

When the flour, etc. has been incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl once again.

Add the pistachios.

And the dried cranberries.  Mix just until combined.

And here's the lovely dough.  At this point, if you are planning on refrigerating your dough to be baked at a future date, you will need to shape the dough into a log shape and wrap it in plastic wrap.

Like this.

And when you're ready to bake the cookies, remove the dough roll from your fridge and slice it (about 1/4" thick) before you bake.

Place the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  

These are shortbread-type cookies and they don't really spread much while they're baking, so feel free to crowd them a bit more than you normally would.  You can see that I have about twice as many cookies placed on this baking sheet than I would if I were baking cookies that had ingredients like eggs and baking powder and/or baking soda which would cause the cookies to rise and spread.

If you are not planning on refrigerating the dough and want to bake the cookies immediately, scoop generous tablespoon-sized portions onto your baking sheet and flatten with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped into confectioners sugar.  

You need the confectioners sugar to prevent the glass from sticking as you flatten the dough.  Don't worry if there's a bit of a powdery appearance, it will bake off.  

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes (if you have chilled your dough will take a bit longer, 12-14 minutes).  They are done when the edges have just barely begun to brown.

Allow the cookies to cool completely before frosting.

To frost the cookies:

Microwave the white chocolate chips and shortening in a small bowl for one minute on HIGH.

This is what they look like after one minute.  They don't look melted at all, right?

However, if you stir them, this is what happens.

One by one, dunk the edge of your cookies into the chocolate, and then place them onto a sheet of parchment paper until the chocolate cools and hardens.

Like this.  

If you prefer a fancier presentation, you could transfer the melted chocolate into a pastry bag and pipe it on.  Or you could put it into a zip lock sandwich bag, snip off the corner and drizzle it on.  Use whichever method you prefer.

I use the melt-&-dunk method because it's quickest and I like to take the lazy way out whenever possible.



  1. I lost my clever comment by clicking the wrong space...but I did say something about not being a pudding snob. Glad you came to your senses on that. :) These look heavenly, and must taste heavenly with 2 sticks of butter, yikes. Knew I should have lost weight before all the fall baking began. lol.

  2. Fran these cookies are sooooo good! Thanks for the goodies and it was great to see you!

    1. I'm so happy that you like them! And it's always great to see you :)


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