Chai Spice Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

By arajpur
January 3, 2016
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Author Notes: In a twist on tradition, this chai-spiced shortbread combines spiced glaze and a dusting of pistachios for an enchanting combination of warmth and holiday cheer.

(These cookies don't contain eggs, and they can easily be made vegan by substituting Earth Balance and non-dairy milk for the butter and milk.)

Makes: 36 (with 1 3/4" cookie cutter)


  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, finely chopped

Glaze + Topping

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 teaspoons milk (plus a little more if needed)
  • 3 tablespoons pistachios, finely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, mix spices together. Reserve 1/4 tsp of spice mixture for glaze.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt. Add in unreserved spice mixture.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add in flour mixture and beat until ingredients are just combined. (Dough will still be crumbly.) Stir in 1/4 cup pistachios. With your hands, continue mixing and press dough together until it forms a ball.
  5. Divide dough in half. Transfer one half to lightly floured surface and press (or gently roll) into 1/4" thick rectangle. Cut with round (or other shape) cookie cutter and use a knife or spatula to place cookies about 1" apart on prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with other half of dough.
  6. Bake 10 minutes, or until lightly browned on edges. Cool 2-3 minutes on cookie sheets and then carefully transfer to cooling rack.
  7. Mix together powdered sugar, vanilla, reserved 1/4 tsp spice mixture and milk, adding a little more milk if necessary to get desired consistency (thick but spreadable).
  8. When cookies are cool, spread a thin layer of glaze on about half the cookie. Cover that half with chopped pistachios. Let stand until glaze/pistachios are set.

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