These Orange Cardamom Cookies are the perfect way to add a little elegance to your holiday cookie platter. The crumbly shortbread cookie base is studded with chopped pistachios and topped with a light glaze. Add an extra burst of color with a sprinkling of some decorating sugar, ground pistachios, or even dried rose petals. The dough can also be prepared and frozen ahead of time for easy holiday planning.
Originally from Effortless Entertaining Cookbook, these Orange Cardamom cookies have a shortbread-like pistachio dough that is spiced with ground cardamom, orange zest, and almond extract. All of these flavors work together to create a wonderfully floral and nutty cookie without much effort or intricate styling.
Cardamom has only recently started to gain popularity here in the United States for baking, but it has long been a favorite in the Middle East, South Asia, and Scandinavia. There are a few different varieties, but green cardamom is most often used in sweet treats while black cardamom tends to be reserved for savory dishes. Use freshly ground cardamom from the pods when possible as the spice quickly loses its flavor.
Orange Cardamom Cookies Recipe Tips
- Chill the dough well before slicing. A sharp knife is best for cutting through the pieces of pistachio. If your slices are a little rectangular, shape them gently back into a circle.
- The glaze sets quickly, so work in batches when adding the toppings to make sure they have a chance to stick.
- Styling the cookies is one of the favorite parts of baking in our kitchen (aside from sneaking a few bites of cookie dough). The kids will have fun decorating these cookies! The original recipe calls for decorating sugar. We actually alternated topping the freshly glazed cookies with ground pistachios and pearl sugar. I also sprinkled a few dried rose petals to add a floral hint and extra contrast of color to pair with the pistachio and orange.
- Feeding a crowd or need more for a cookie exchange recipe? This recipe can easily be doubled and the prepared dough can be frozen ahead of time. This cookie recipe is a favorite for our collection of Best Cookie Exchange Recipes!
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- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 156 grams
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 large orange zested
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick or 114 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar 95 grams
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp almond extract 5 milliliters
- 1/3 cup pistachios shelled and chopped
- 1 cup powdered sugar 130 grams
- 1 tablespoon milk 1 to 3 tablespoons or 15 to 45 milliliters
- Decorating sugar or ground pistachios for garnish
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cardamom, orange zest and salt. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or hand mixer on the medium-high setting, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the egg and almond extract. Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Fold in the pistachios with a spoon or spatula.
Place the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap, shape into a 2 x 12-inch (5 x 30-cm) log and wrap tightly with the plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm and chilled through.
Preheat oven to 350ºF (175ºC) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the plastic wrap and slice into ⅓-inch (8-mm) thick slices. Place the slices onto the prepared baking sheet, 1 inch apart, and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until slightly golden on the edges. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a small, wide bowl, slowly whisk the milk, 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) at a time, into the powdered sugar until just thin enough to coat the tops of the cookies. If too thick, add a little more milk. If too thin, whisk in a little more powdered sugar. Dip the top of each cooking into the glaze, dripping off any excess. Top with decorating sugar or ground pistachios. Allow to set before storing in an airtight container.
- Recipe from Effortless Entertaining Cookbook