Weeknight Cooking

Chocolate-Dunked Pistachio Shortbread

February 11, 2013

Jenny is in perpetual search for easy, weeknight recipes to attempt to feed her family. When they balk, she just eats more.

Chocolate-Dunked Pistachio Shortbread

Guess what? I have a new favorite cookie! And it isn’t based on an Oreo, Girl Scout cookie or any other junk food from my past, all of which I have been making for the better part of the last six months.

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So thrilled was I to try Chocolate-Dunked Pistachio Shortbread that I think I would have made it on any random Saturday, but as it turned out I needed a hostess gift for a dinner party. (A Washington sort, thanks for asking, where people talk about the debt ceiling and ponder endlessly the future of newspapers and where no one really wants to talk about Michelle Obama’s new bangs.)

Anyway, these cookies whip up in two seconds. They have this incredibly divine texture even for those of you who don’t normally likes nuts in cookies, and a very unique flavor if you do three things I am about to tell you.

First: While the recipe calls for raw unsalted pistachios, I bought salted pistachio meats at Trader Joe’s, which are both wildly convenient and give this cookie a salt kick that really puts it over the top.

Second: Be sure to chop up the second batch of pistachios pretty fine so you have that nice dust when you dip them.

Third: I know the recipe says you can just melt chocolate up and it will be this nice dipping sauce. For everyone in the world but me, it seems as I have been struggling with dipping cookies in chocolate for months now. I really believe you need butter or shortening to give chocolate its proper gloss and movement if you’re going to dip a cookie in it. Otherwise all you have is sort of chunky, hot chocolate that is dull and stagnant and won’t adhere to its cookie pal and suddenly you’re feeling really sad and inadequate and wonder if maybe you should go work in a mattress store because those are the most dispiriting places you can think of. So add two tablespoons of butter, melt it down and see if it is glossy enough. If not, add more.

Dip. Cool. You won’t be able to wait an hour to eat them.

Chocolate-Dunked Pistachio Shortbread by Rivka

Makes 1.5 dozen cookies

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 plus 1/3 cup raw unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by James Ransom

Looking for more weeknight cookies?

Cream Cheese Cookies

Figgy Pudding Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

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Written by: Jestei

The ratio of people to cake is too big.


jimmyray February 14, 2013
I made a few variations to the flour component to make them gluten-free and the cookies taste fantastic, but they flattened out like pancakes. For the 1 cup flour called for I used 1/2 cup all-purpose GF flour, 1/4 cup almond flour and 1/4 cup cornstarch (and 1/4 teaspoon of xantham gum). Next time I'll try just a straight substitute of 1 cup AP gf-flour and see what happens and then go from there. Am very happy with the results, just the shape differs.
Anna K. February 14, 2013
I love following your food-related adventures! Inspires me every time. The cookies sound like heaven and I am making the pasta dish from Jan. 7th tonight (Valentine's Day) even though I am afraid of anchovies. Yahoo!
AnnieHynes February 14, 2013
Made these late last night for Valentine's. Sooooooo good! Thanks for the tip on melting chocolate.m the butter made it sooo much easier and pretty. I put a glass bowl over a pot and simmered. Worked like a gem! Happy heart day!
nlotz February 13, 2013
the very best shortbread i have ever, ever made has a good amount of corn starch (2 cups flour and 3/4 cup corn starch)in it. the texture is even more divine than regular shortbread--tender, yet crumbly, sublimely melt-in-your-mouth-ish. i will be trying your chocolate dipping technique, however, as i am similarly handicapped in the art of melting and dipping. thanks!
jimmyray February 13, 2013
To make gluten-free, do you think they would be better substituting the regular flour with almond flour or with a general purpose gf flour?
Rivka February 13, 2013
probably a mixture? These work well with lots of nut flour in them, but you probably need some sort of starch in there, too.
[email protected] February 13, 2013
These sound SO good! Can the recipe be doubled without losing anything?
Rivka February 13, 2013
I don't see why not.
Foodiewithalife February 13, 2013
These are so cute! Shortbread has been my absolute favorite cookie since childhood. Thanks for this great recipe!

Monica8866 February 13, 2013
I will be making these tonight! They look unbelieveable. I've got some pistachios sitting around, this recipe arrived at the perfect time, thanks!
witloof February 11, 2013
Just to say that I look forward to reading your delicious prose every Monday!
mariaraynal February 11, 2013
I would love it if someone arrived at my door with a platter of these - they look so pretty and tasty. And I'm not even that big on pistachios. But I do kinda like Michelle's bangs.
mrslarkin February 11, 2013
Oh my. I would like one or 5 of these right now.

Melt your chocolate in the microwave on 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Easy peasy. I do it all the time, because I am a spaz with the double boiler. Plus, I'm lazy.
Rivka February 11, 2013
Heyhey! Glad you loved these as much as I did. Thanks for the nudge to make them again.