We are seriously obsessed with these pistachio shortbread sandwich cookies! Holiday cookie baking had us testing out different flavor combos. And we got a great big bag of pistachios as a Christmas gift! As a result, we had lot’s of pistachio treats on our baking list!
Without a doubt, we knew that pistachios would add a great flavor to any cookie. But which one to make first? Raspberry filled shortbread was my first attempt. Clearly that flavor profile was super yummy!
Recently, I asked my youngest son recently what kind of cookies would he like. He said “Will you make those pistachio cookies?” Obviously I was flattered that he picked a recipe I had recently been developing. Knowing that he loved different fruit flavors, I asked what jam he wanted me to use in these. Strawberry was his pick! Good call!
The smell of these pistachio shortbread sandwich cookies baking is next level. With a hint of almond extract & lemon zest, these may be your new best friend.
Ingredients for shortbread:
- 1 cup shelled pistachios
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups butter
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, yellow part only
Ingredients to assemble cookies:
- 1 cup strawberry jam
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Pulse pistachios in a food processor until very finely ground. Add baking powder and salt, and pulse to blend. Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour, and pulse to blend.
- Add the butter into the flour and pistachio mixture, and pulse until everything is well combined. Add vanilla and almond extract, along with the lemon zest, and pulse again stopping to scrape down bowl as necessary.
- Scrape dough out of food processor into a large bowl. Add remaining flour and mix with hands.
Prepare dough for refrigeration:
- Divide dough in 2 equal pieces, and roll into a log. The log circumference of the log should be the size you you’re your cookie to be, roughly ½ inch larger than the shape you will be cutting out of the middle. Example: a ½ inch wide heart cutter, you should have a 1/12 inch round log.
- Wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Chill at least 2 hours. Can be made up to a week in advance.
Slice and bake cookies:
- Heat oven to 325 degrees. Working with 1 log at a time, cut 1/8 inch slices. Transfer sliced cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet spaced 1 inch apart.
- Cut shapes out of the middle of the other half of the cookies. Using a metal spatula, slip these onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, separating the centers out. If at any point the dough becomes too soft to cut and cleanly remove from parchment paper, slide it onto a cookie sheet and chill for a few minutes in the freezer or refrigerator.
- Bake cookies until the edges are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Half way thru, rotate cookie sheets a quarter turn and switch positions on the shelf. Note that the solid cookies may take a minute or so longer to bake then the cookies that have cut outs. Allow cookies to cool.
- To assemble the cookies, spread about a teaspoon of strawberry jam onto the flat sides of the larger circles. Gently press a cut out cookie onto the jam.
- Dust the tops of the cookies with powder sugar.
- Store cookies in an airtight container with parchment paper between layers.