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December 23, 2017

Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Pistachio, Peppermint, Coconut or Classic Shortbread

Shortbread-Red 2

Shortbread cookies make great holiday gifts. They’re easy to make and everyone loves their melt-in-your-mouth texture. They also are easily morphed into various flavors and colors, perfect for the holidays. I started with pistachio shortbread.Pistachio Shortbread 1

Softened butter, powdered sugar, flour, and salt … that’s all you need for basic shortbread. My go-to recipe started as a stripped down version of an Indiana State Fair winning recipe. It was for Lemon Lavender Shortbread. Later I made a lemon version citrus shortbread.

When I hit the kitchen for this set of shortbread adventures, I had Christmas trees in mind. To me, that called for a pistachio and green color pairing. One bite and I declared the pistachio shortbread a winner!Pistachio Shortbread 2Lately, I’ve been experimenting with the pistachio butter that Amoretti makes. It’s super concentrated, so you just put in a tiny percentage weight-wise, as in 3 to 5 percent of the batch’s full weight. For instance, when my cookie dough weighed about a pound and 4 ounces, (20 ounces), I used 1 ounce of the pistachio butter. If you love pistachios, you will love this pistachio butter product.Pistachio Shortbread 3Second I did a peppermint version. Bite-size and fun. Peppermint Shortbread 1They smell amazing and taste timely to me in the winter months. I sized them as the peppermint candies I crushed and put into the dough. I shaped the dough as long narrow logs and chilled them. When I was ready to bake, I just sliced them up and softened the edges. This peppermint version was a winner too.Peppermint Shortbread CloseupThen, since I’m nutty for coconut…I made another version. Yes, I’ll admit it now. Coconut is an obsession. I’ve lost count as to how many recipes I made with coconut in the last month alone. Coconut Shortbread 1For this shortbread version, I highly recommend the fine macaron coconut from Bob’s Red Mill. Its texture blends in perfectly and a sprinkling on top looks dazzling to me.

No holiday shortbread would be complete without something red. So I leave you with these.Red Shortbread 1

Happy holidays-





Shortbread Cookies

4 sticks butter (1 cup), softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 1/4 cups flour (10.1 ounces), sifted

1/4 teaspoon salt


In large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium-high until fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar, until well combined. Add sifted flour and salt, mixing until just combined, then add pistachio butter, plus green food coloring if desired. Mix until uniform in texture and color. Wrap in plastic and chill dough one hour (or longer). Keep refrigerated until just before you’re ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Roll out dough onto floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. (You may need to let the dough warm up about 5 minutes for rolling out more easily.) Cut out desired sizes, remove extra dough and repeat until all dough is used. (While dough is still chilled, move to baking sheets lined with parchment paper.). Bake 18-20 minutes. Move to cooling rack to cool. Makes 24 cookies.

Pistachio Shortbread Cookies: When mixing the first dough ingredients, add 1 ounce pistachio butter (Amoretti Artisan Flavor) and 2-4 drops green food coloring.

Coconut Shortbread Cookies: When mixing the first dough ingredients, add 1/3 cup finely shredded coconut (Bob’s Red Mill “Fine Macaron Coconut” works great.). I also added  1 ounce coconut cream (Amoretti Artisan Flavor).

Peppermint Shortbread Cookies: When mixing the first dough ingredients, add 1 teaspoon peppermint extract, 1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies, and 2 drops red food coloring.

-Recipes from Cyndi Harles