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+ servings
Lemon and Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Lemon and Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Course Dessert
Cuisine Greek
Keyword shortbread
Servings 48 cookies
Calories 153 kcal


Pistachio Lemon Shortbread Cookies

  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 2/3 cups finely chopped raw pistachios
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 12 ounces unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Royal Icing

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons warm water
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder


Pistachio Lemon Shortbread Cookies

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, pistachios, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon until combined. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar at medium low speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice, amaretto liqueur, lemon zest, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Reduce the speed to low, and add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 increments, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as-needed, until a thick dough forms. Divide the dough into two equal portions, pat each into a rough circle shape, cover with beeswrap, foil , or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove one of the dough portions, unwrap it, and roll it out on a clean + lightly floured working surface until it's 1/4-inch thick. Cut out shapes with your desired cookie cutter and place them on a lipped baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving 1-inch of space between the cookies. The cooler the temperature of your room and work surface is, the easier it will be to handle the dough.

  4. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the edge of the cookies *just* get the palest tint of gold, you don't want them to the edges to turn deep gold. The time depends on the size of the cookies, I found that the larger snowflake cookies took about 11 minutes, and the smaller cookies and the ones with very thin edges baked in about 7 to 8 minutes.

  5. Repeat the above process with the remaining dough while the first batch of cookies are baking. When the cookies are done baking, allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Royal Icing

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the powdered sugar, warm water, and meringue powder at low speed for 8 minutes. Allow to rest for 15 minutes for any air bubbles to rise out of the icing. Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip, and begin icing your cookies (the cookies MUST be completely cool before icing).

  2. If you want a thicker royal icing to create 3-dimensional effects, add more powdered sugar to the icing. If you want it thinner, add a little bit more water to the icing.

  3. Depending on the water content of your icing and how dry/humid your environment is, the icing can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours to dry after it's been applied to the cookies. Once it's dry, it's safe to stack them (i.e. in a cookie box) for storage without destroying the decorative icing.

Nutrition Facts
Lemon and Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 153 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 15mg5%
Sodium 62mg3%
Potassium 55mg2%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 195IU4%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 7mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.