These melt in your mouth pistachio snowball cookies are some of the most fail-proof cookies you could make. They get their delicious crunch, flavor, and natural green color from ground pistachios.
I've said this more times than I can count, but pistachios are ALWAYS a part of my Easter celebrations - and pistachio cookies are especially traditional in our humble abode!
Buuuut these cookies also make a gorgeous and delicious addition to your Christmas or St. Patrick's day tables because of the green color - or any sort of dessert table for that matter!
In conclusion: no season is a bad time for pistachio cookies!
And if you're loving snowball cookies as much as I am, check out like these adorable little pumpkin cookies using a similar base cookie dough.
pistachio snowball cookie ingredients
• pistachios: look for unsalted and shelled pistachios - unsalted so you can control the amount of salt and shelled so that you don't drive yourself nuts trying to shell enough pistachios for these cookies! Get it? Nuts... I hope someone laughed.
Don't like pistachios? You can substitute with your preferred nuts! Like these classic pecan snowball cookies.
• sugar: powdered sugar is best for these cookies because it dissolves more easily into the flour (seeing as we won't be creaming butter and sugar together)
• green food coloring: optional. Use if you'd like a more vibrant green color to your cookies. The color of the cookie dough is about the same color you should expect out of the baked cookies (it will get slightly paler in color after baking), so use that as your guide to see if you want to add any! The pistachios will naturally give off a cute pastel green color.
how to make pistachio snowball cookies
1. Chop up pistachios. You can do this step in a food processor for finer crumbs or by hand with a sharp knife. It's totally up to you how large or small you make the pistachio pieces. I like to do a mix of larger and smaller pieces for different textures and a nicer color!
* do note that, if you're chopping up your pistachios in a food processor, there is such thing as too much of a good thing! Pulse the pistachios for too long, and they'll turn into pistachio butter.
2. Whisk together pistachios and dry ingredients.
3. Mix in butter and vanilla. Keep mixing until you have a cookie dough.
4. Chill the dough until firm.
5. Scoop out 1 tablespoon sized portions of dough and shape into balls.
6. Bake cookies! You can arrange the cookies quite close together on the baking sheet (they don't spread out much), but do leave some space to allow for air to circulate.
7. Cool the cookies enough to handle, then roll in powdered sugar.
8. Set aside on a wire rack to cool completely before serving!
If you find the powdered sugar has dissolved and lost its powdery look, you can roll the cookies in some more - but try to avoid rerolling the cookies more than 2 times or they could start to get overly sweet.
make these cookies vegan / dairy free
These cookies don't use a lot of ingredients, so they're that much easier to tweak for different dietary needs! To make dairy-free / vegan snowball cookies, swap out the regular butter with your favorite non-dairy / vegan butter.
make these cookies gluten free
Instead of all purpose flour, use your favorite 1:1 or cup-for-cup gluten free flour to make gluten free snowball cookies.
pistachio snowball cookie storage
Keep these cookies stored in an airtight container or plastic bag, and they'll keep for up to 2 weeks at room temperature. You can also make the cookie dough up to 3 days in advance and keep it stored in the fridge.
To freeze the cookie dough, portion and roll into balls. Arrange the cookies on a baking sheet, and freeze until solid. Transfer to a plastic bag in one layer, push out as much air as possible, and freeze for up to 2 months.
To bake from frozen, either defrost the cookies in the fridge overnight, and bake as instructed below, or bake (frozen) in the center of a preheated 325°F for 15 to 20 minutes. If baking frozen, the lower temperature oven helps defrost and bake the cookies more evenly.
Check out these other recipes!
• Eggless Almond Butter Cookies
• Nutella Linzer Cookies
• Pistachio Cake
• Date Syrup Cake with Caramel Glaze
Pistachio Snowball Cookies Recipe
- 1 & ¼ cups (160g) unsalted shelled pistachios, raw or toasted
- 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour, spoon and leveled
- ¼ cup (35g) powdered sugar, plus more for rolling the baked cookies (about 1 cup more)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks / 225g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
- Using a small food processor, or by hand with a knife, finely chop the pistachios. For extra texture, leave a few pieces of the pistachios slightly larger. For a smoother cookie, finely chop all the pistachios. If using a food processor, take care not to pulse the pistachios for too long or they will start to turn into pistachio butter.1 & ¼ cups (160g) unsalted shelled pistachios,
- In a large bowl, combine ground pistachios, flour, ¼ cup of powdered sugar, and salt. Mix to combine.2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour,, ¼ cup (35g) powdered sugar,, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Add your butter and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Mix and mash together until you get a soft dough. I find it easiest to do this step by hand.1 cup (2 sticks / 225g) unsalted butter,, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Cover and chill the dough for 30 minutes to help prevent overspreading when you bake the cookies.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Uncover your chilled dough, and pinch off 1 tablespoon sized portions. Roll the portions into smooth balls, and arrange on your baking sheet, leaving about ½ an inch space between each ball of dough for air to circulate.
- Bake in the center of your preheated 350°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom and lightly browned along the edges.
- Cool the cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, or until cool enough to handle. Then, toss the cookies in powdered sugar to coat the outside. It helps to use a fork for this step.
- Arrange the cookies on a wire rack and set aside to cool completely to room temperature before serving. If you find the sugar has melted, you can give the cookies another light toss in powdered sugar to freshen them up.
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