Pistachio Shortbread Cookies with Dried Cherries and Red Peppercorns


Pistachio Shortbread Cookies with Dried Cherries + Red Peppercorns by Sonia Wong @saltnpepperhere

Recipe makes about 40 2.5" cookies.


  • 1 C (125g) pistachios without shell (you'll need about 2C or 250g of shell-on pistachios) 1 1/2 C (215g) All-purpose flour, preferably unbleached and non-GMO
  • 3/4 C (95g) organic confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp finely ground DRØM red peppercorns
  • 1 C (227g or 2 sticks) organic butter, cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C (85g) dried cherries, chopped into very small pieces
  • Maldon salt or other coarse flakey sea salt for sprinkling on top


  • Remove the pistachio shells and any skin that can be easily rubbed off with your fingers. Place them in a food processor along with the all-purpose flour, confectioner's sugar, salt and finely ground red peppercorns (make sure to finely grind the peppercorns in your peppermill first even though they are going into the food processor, we are not grinding the pistachios to the same degree of fineness).
  • Pulse repeatedly until the pistachios have broken down into a medium-coarse meal. Keep a close eye on the progress making sure not to over process it to the point that the pistachios turn into nut butter. You still want to see tiny pieces of nut, as opposed to a paste. But don't worry, in my experience, the presence of the confectioner's sugar and all-purpose flour helps it not turn into nut butter so suddenly, compared to grinding nuts alone.
  • Add the butter chunks, vanilla and chopped dried cherry bits to the food processor and pulse until a dough just forms. Again, don't overprocess. Dump it out onto a large piece of plastic wrap and work it slightly with your hands if needed.
  • Divide the dough into two and roll each into logs about 2" in diameter. Wrap each log up in plastic wrap and twist the ends to close (square off the ends a bit by patting them with the palm of your hand). Chill the logs 30 minutes in the freezer (or 1 hr up to overnight in the fridge if more convenient).
  • Preheat oven to 375f. Slice the logs into 1/3" thick slices. Place them 2" apart on two large parchment- lined baking sheets. Keep unsliced log in the fridge if you don't have enough space on baking sheet and need to bake the cookies off in batches.
  • Sprinkle the tops with a healthy pinch of Maldon sea salt and bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are just browned. Cool them on the baking sheet for 8-10 minutes (they're quite fragile at this point) before transferring them to a wire rack to cool the rest of the way to room temperature.

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