Pistachio-White Chocolate (No Butter!) Butter Cookies

Prep Time 25 min.
Cook Time 6-7 min. (plus cooling)
Total Time 25 minutes
Yields About 3 dozen


  • 2/3 cup roasted, shelled and salted pistachios (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)
  • 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated white sugar (or colored sugar, if desired)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare baking sheets by covering each with parchment paper.
  2. In a mini food processor, process pistachios and water until smooth (about 3 minutes), scraping sides of processor occasionally as needed. (The consistency will be similar to very wet sand but will be able to be formed with your scraper or hand into a thick, smooth paste like very, very thick natural peanut butter.)
  3. Transfer pistachio butter to a large mixing bowl and add brown sugar, egg and vanilla and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes until very well incorporated, scraping bowl once or twice as needed.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt, stirring with a whisk to thoroughly combine.
  5. Add flour mixture to pistachio mixture and beat on medium-low just until combined, about 1 minute. Do not over-mix. (Dough will form clumps and will not be smooth.)
  6. Stir in white chocolate chips and cranberries (if using).
  7. Shape dough into 36 balls. (About a rounded ½ tablespoon of dough will form 1 - 1¼ inch balls).
  8. Roll each ball lightly in white (or colored) sugar. (Or, if you're in a hurry, just sprinkle some sugar on top after you've flattened the cookies in the next step.)
  9. Place on prepared baking sheets and flatten to about 1½ - 1¾ inches in diameter, using the bottom of a drinking glass. (If you're having trouble with the glass sticking to the cookies, you can place wax paper between the cookies and the glass as you press.)
  10. Bake for about 6-7 minutes, until only slightly golden, and then allow to cool on cookie sheets for 2-3 minutes before transferring to cooling racks to cool completely.
  11. Store in an airtight container.


Recipe Notes

You can also use unsalted pistachios if that's what you have on hand. If so, then increase the salt in the recipe from ⅛ teaspoon to ¼ teaspoon.

These cookies can be made ahead. You can prepare the nut butter several days in advance, or completely make the dough a day early, and then wrap whatever you have and refrigerate until you're ready to continue. You can also shape the dough balls and roll them in sugar a day ahead, and then refrigerate those in a zipper bag until you're ready to bake. If your dough is cold, straight from the refrigerator, you may need to add 1 minute to your baking time. After baking, these can be frozen in an air-tight freezer bag.

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