Lemon Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Lemon Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

These pretty Lemon Pistachio Shortbread Cookies are also easy to make and delicious! They keep well , too so make them ahead and enjoy!

I’m sharing these cookies as part of the 2017 Virtual Cookie Exchange. Scroll down below the recipe to find more great holiday cookie recipes being shared today!

Shortbread cookies are always a favourite of mine, any time of year. They are especially nice for the holidays though, as they are both delicious and keep well. These Lemon Pistachio Shortbread Cookies add a little extra, topping buttery, flaky shortbread cookies with a tangy, lemon icing sugar glaze and a sprinkling of salted, roasted pistachios.

While these may look fancy, they are in fact, super easy to make. The cookies bake up in a round in a pan. Simply press in the dough! Once cut into wedges, they are just dipped into the glaze and sprinkled with pistachios. No need for piping bags here.

So I hope you will give these delicious cookies a try over the holidays. They keep really well and you can even freeze them. And of course, they would make a lovely gift cookie.

Lemon Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

These Lemon Pistachio Shortbread cookies are the trifecta of cookies.
Pretty ✓   Easy ✓    Delicious ✓
Everything you want for holiday baking!

Lemon Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Cook’s Notes for Lemon Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

If you have a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, that would be ideal for these cookies. Not only will you be able to remove them from the pan easily, you will get a lovely scalloped edge around the outside of your cookies.

I didn’t have a 9-inch tart pan though, so I used a 9-inch round cake pan lined with a round of parchment on the bottom. It bakes up just as well, but makes it a little trickier to remove the cookies after they’ve cooled. I find that lifting out the first cookie with a fork from the thick, outside edge is the easiest way to go. Once you have the first one out, it’s a breeze after that. If it happens to break, consider it a “baker’s sample” and eat it. You’ll still be able to make a nice circle of cookies even if you’re missing that one ;)

As you dip your cookies to glaze, you may start to get some small bits of cookie in your glaze. Simply use a spoon to move those bits to the edges, away from where you are dipping, so you don’t get cookie bits in your glaze.

Top Tip! I’ve increased the amount of glaze here, as I find that it’s much easier to dip when you start with a good amount of glaze. You don’t want to be scraping the bottom of the bowl. That’s not going to make pretty cookies. Having more glaze to start just avoids all that, but it does mean that you will have more than you need to glaze all these cookies. I hate to waste, but it’s only a bit of icing sugar and lemon juice. Or if you happen to have other baking that needs a dollop of something, you can use your extra that way.

Need a Tart Pan?

I discovered that my kitchen needed a 9-inch tart pan. If you want to add one to your kitchen, here are some great options.

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Lemon Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Lemon Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Lemon Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: Christmas cookie recipes, lemon shortbread cookie recipes
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 16 cookies
Energy: 236 kcal
Author: Jennifer

Pretty, easy and delicious, these cookies have a buttery, flaky shortbread cookie, topped with a tangy lemon glaze and sprinkled with chopped pistachios. Keep well and can be frozen, too!




  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 tsp salt less if using salted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour


  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice strained of seeds and pulp
  • 1/4 cup salted, roasted pistachios finely chopped


  1. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or in a bowl with an electric mixer, beat together butter, icing sugar vanilla and salt until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in flour just until combined.

  2. Press dough into a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom (or alternately, a 9-inch round cake pan, lining the bottom with a round of parchment paper.) Flatten dough with the palm of your hand to make a smooth surface. Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the dough in to 16 wedges. Prick each wedge with a fork twice. Refrigerate pan with dough until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300F.
  4. Bake cookies in preheated oven until firm and pale golden, about 50-55 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then, using a sharp knife, cut through the score lines you made before baking, wiping off the blade between each cut. Allow to cool completely in the pan.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare glaze by whisking together the icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Tip: Be sure to use a bowl that will allow you to dip the cookies in flat from end to end, so it should be at least 5-inches wide. That said, don't use too big a bowl or your glaze will be too thin a layer and you may bottom-out when you dip).

  6. Remove cookies from pan to a rack. Holding a cookie by the sides, dip the top of the cookie into the glaze to coat. Hold point side down and allow the excess to drip off. Gently remove any drip at the point end by running it along the edge of the bowl. Place on to rack. Once you've done 4 or 5, sprinkle those ones with some of the chopped pistachio. Repeat until you have glazed and sprinkled all the cookies. Allow to stand until the glaze is set, about 1 hour. Store in a flat even layer in an airtight container. These keep well stored at room temperature for about a week. These would also freeze well!
Adapted from Canadian Living November 2017

More Holiday Cookies for you! #VirtualCookieExchange

What Should I Make For… – Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Cookies
The Sweet Nerd – Gingerbread Cookies – All Spruced Up
Girl Heart Food – Orange Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies
The Beach House Kitchen – Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies
Beyond Mere Sustenance – Brandy-Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate
Ciao Chow Bambina – Lemon Drop Italian Cookies
Contemplating Sweets – Hedgehog Cookies
The Busy Spatula – S’mores Cookies
Salt & Lavender – Vegan Gingerbread Cookie Bars
Meg is Well – Bradshaw Cookies: A Sour Cream Cookie with Cream Cheese Frosting

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I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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