Festive Cherry Pistachio Cookies

Cherry and Pistachio Cookies are both easy and festive - a winning combination in my cookie book. They are basic ice box cookies dolled up with the holiday red and green of chopped candied cherries and pistachios.

Cherry ice box cookies are a cookie lover's friend, since with a log of dough in the freezer, you are never more than a few minutes away from a batch of homemade cookies.

They can be great for the rush of holiday baking since you can make the logs of cherry ice box cookies dough ahead, store them in the freezer, and then slice and bake your cookies when it's time to put together your holiday cookie trays for giving and sharing.

I think these ice box cookies would be good with dried cranberries instead of candied cherries too!

Cherry Pistachio Cookies Recipe

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 (8-ounce container) candied red cherries, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup coarse or sanding sugar
  1. In a large bowl beat together butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt with an electric mixer on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 - 4 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if necessary to make sure everything is well blended.
  2. Add the egg yolk and beat until blended and creamy.
  3. Add flour and pistachios and blend with the mixer on low speed, or with a wooden spoon until just combined.
  4. Remove dough from mixer and, with a wooden spoon or your clean hands, mix in the cherries.
  5. Divide the dough into equal halves and roll each piece into a log about 12 inches long.
  6. Wrap each log separately in plastic and chill in the refrigerator overnight. (The wrapped logs of dough can also be placed in a freezer safe bag and placed in the freezer for up to a month.)
  7. If you plan to bake the cookies within a day or two, place your egg white in a small covered container and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake the cookies. (If you plan to freeze the dough for later use, use the egg white for another purpose or discard it.)
  8. When you are ready to bake your cookies, position one oven rack in the middle of your oven and preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or grease lightly) and set aside.
  9. Pour the coarse sugar onto a piece of waxed paper or aluminum foil. Lightly brush egg white over the surface of the log.
  10. Press and roll the cookie dough log into sugar.
  11. Transfer the sugar coated cookie log to a cutting board.
  12. Using a sharp knife, slice log into 1/2-inch slices, rotating the log as you cut so it maintains it's round shape and doesn't flatten out on one side.
  13. Transfer slices of cookie dough to cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart.
  14. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until firm around the edges, but still slightly soft in the center.
  15. Remove from the oven and let cool on the cookie sheet for a minute or two before transferring the cookies with a thin metal spatula to a wire rack to cool completely.
  16. Store in an airtight container or freeze

This recipe yields about 4 dozen Cherry Pistachio Cookies.

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