Pistachio Cookies

How about some green Pistachio Cookies for St. Patrick’s Day?  Though they don’t have any chocolate in them, these cookies are delicious and also very easy since they are one of the many variations on pudding-mix cookies that are floating about. This recipe comes originally from the King Arthur Flour Baking Sheet from spring 2006. They’re a nice spring cookie (not to mention good for St. Patrick’s day) because they turn out a pale green. The pudding keeps them moist with a light pistachio flavor and the chopped pistachios and whole pistachio on top are a nice salty contrast.  If you don’t care for pistachio, just adapt the recipe to use your favorite pudding flavor and your own mix-ins.

Pistachio Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Moist and light pistachio sugar cookies made with pudding mix.
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable/canola oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large or 2 small (3.4 ounces each) packages pistachio instant pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ to ⅔ cup chopped pistachio nuts (optional)
  • ½ cup pistachio halves (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, oil, water, egg, pudding mix, vanilla, salt, and baking powder until smooth. Add the flour and chopped nuts, beating until well combined. The dough will be stiff.
  3. Roll or scoop the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll them in granulated sugar, if desired, and place them on the baking sheets, leaving 1 to 2 inches between them. Press the cookies down gently with the bottom of a drinking glass, dipped in sugar if necessary to prevent sticking.
  4. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until just barely beginning to brown around the edges. Remove them from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.
VARIATIONS: This recipe is flexible, so if you don't care for pistachio, just pick your favorite pudding flavor and choose mix-ins that you like. For example, chocolate pudding and peanut butter chips, butter-rum extract and diced pecans or chopped heath bars with butterscotch pudding; coconut or banana extract and macadamia nuts with coconut cream pudding; espresso powder and cappuccino chips with chocolate pudding, etc. Use about ½ to 1 teaspoon of regular extracts, about ⅛ teaspoon if using stronger oil flavorings. Extracts will help mask the aftertaste that sometimes comes with using ready-made mixes. Also, be sure to use fresh ingredients as much as possible. Nuts and oils can turn rancid if kept for a long time at room temperature.


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