Olive Oil Sugar Cookies with Pistachio Glaze

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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 18 to 24

These cookies are the creation of Minneapolis author and blogger Sarah Kieffer, who deals with the long Minnesota winters by doing a lot of baking in her home kitchen. Here, she puts a fun spin on classic sugar cookies by adding pistachios and a glug of olive oil. Cut the dough into Christmas-themed cookies during the winter holidays or into other shapes throughout the year.


For the cookies:

  • 1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) shelled pistachios
  • 2 cups (10 oz./315 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • For the glaze and garnish:
  • 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) chopped pistachios


To make the cookies, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade, pulse the pistachios until finely ground. Add the flour, baking soda and salt and pulse until fully combined. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, add the olive oil and beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture and beat until combined, about 1 minute.

Gather the dough, shape it into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough about 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick. Using the desired-shaped cookie cutter, cut out the cookies. (Any dough scraps can be rewrapped and refrigerated while the cookies are baking.) Gently slide a metal spatula underneath each cookie and transfer to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Put the first baking sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes. After the dough has chilled, put the first baking sheet in the oven, then put the second sheet in the freezer. Repeat with the leftover dough.

Bake the cookies 1 sheet at a time until they are just beginning to brown on the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool completely on the sheet.

To make the glaze, in a bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest and 2 tsp. lemon juice until smooth. Add the cream 1 Tbs. at a time, whisking until a thin glaze forms. (If the glaze still seems too thick, add more lemon juice, 1 tsp. at a time, whisking after each addition.) Spread the glaze over the cookies and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios. Makes 18 to 24 cookies.

Recipe by Sarah Kieffer, creator of The Vanilla Bean Blog

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