Pistachio Orange Crescent Cookies [Holiday Recipe Exchange]

Christmas Recipes, Cookies, Dessert, Holiday Recipes, Recipe Exchange | 31 comments

I hope everyone had an enjoyable, delicious, fun-filled Thanksgiving. Now that we’ve gotten through that milestone of the 2011 Holiday season, we can start talking about Christmas cookies! One of our family’s favorite parts about December is baking and decorating Christmas cookies (and listening to Christmas music).

Last year we added a new cookie to our repertoire, the Chocolate Gingerbread Men that I featured as a part of the Holiday Recipe Exchange. That twist on a classic gingerbread cookie ended up being one of our favorite cookies from 2010.

pistachio orange crescent christmas cookie recipe

Because I like taking favorite recipes and tweaking them with new flavors, I thought I’d do the same thing this year. I used a recipe I’ve made before for Swedish Crescent Cookies and added orange zest and pistachios to switch things up a bit.

Pistachios have always been one of my favorite nuts and I think they taste great with orange. Crescent Cookies are easily adaptable with whatever nuts you have on hand or enjoy the most.

The OXO Good Grips Small Cookie Scoop is the perfect size for these cookies. You can shape them as crescents as the name implies, or just roll the portioned amount from the scoop into pretty little balls. I love to use cookie scoops to ensure evenly proportioned cookies.

Since you’ll be digging out your favorite recipes for Christmas cookies soon, if you haven’t already, you’ll definitely want to participate in this week’s Holiday Recipe Exchange sponsored by OXO. Why? Because the theme is Christmas cookies of course!

pistachio orange crescent christmas cookies

Join Jamie and me this week in sharing your recipes for your Favorite Christmas Cookies for a chance to win a great cookie baking utensil gift set from OXO. OXO offers some seriously awesome kitchen gadgets and I know you’ll love the tools in today’s selection. They were selected with the purpose of making your Christmas cookie baking a little bit simpler.

Now, we want to know what your favorite Christmas cookie is, so join in on the fun and link up your recipe for a chance to win this fab OXO set! Check out Jamie’s Rum Balls.

Pistachio Orange Crescent Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus chilling

Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

Print Save Recipe


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, plus additional for coating
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cup very finely chopped pistachios
zest of one orange


In a bowl, beat the butter and 1/2 cup sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, yolk. Beat till combined. Slowly stir in the in the flour, nuts, and zest.

For the dough into a ball and flatten into a disc shape. Cover and chill for 2 hours.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove a heaping tablespoon of dough at a time, shaping into crescent shapes.

Arrange about 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until cookies are lightly golden around the edges, about 15-20 minutes. While still warm, coat the cookies with confectioners sugar. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

How To Participate

For a chance to win an OXO Cookie Baking Utensil Gift Set valued at $150.88 (details of prize specifics below):

  1. Write and post a recipe on your blog featuring YOUR BEST CHRISTMAS COOKIE.
  2. Include “Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by OXO.” in your blog post.
  3. No blog? Just leave your recipe in the comments section.
  4. Add your link to the widget on either GoodLife Eats or My Baking Addiction (we have the same widget code, so only add it on one site).
  5. Submit your post before December. 5, 11:59 PM.
  6. Anyone can participate in the link up, but the prizes will ship to US addresses only.
  7. More detailed info are available here.

Link Up Your Recipes:

Love any of the recipes featured in today’s Holiday Recipe Exchange? If so, be sure to to use the Ziplist Web Recipe Clipper to add your holiday favorites to your online recipe box.

This Week’s Prize:

Cookie Baking Utensil Gift Set valued at $150.88

Prizes provided by OXO.

Recipe Theme Schedule:

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Blog is the New Black - November 28, 2011 @ 5:29 am

    This recipe looks amazing!


  • 2
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies - November 28, 2011 @ 7:56 am

    Wonderful cookies for any holiday cookie swap!


  • 3
    Casey@Good. Food. Stories. - November 28, 2011 @ 8:01 am

    I second the listening to Christmas music idea – I’ve been itching to turn mine on since mid-November. And if someone brought a batch of these cookies over, that would just be the powdered sugar on top. :)


  • 4
    Living The Sweet Life - November 28, 2011 @ 9:22 am

    The taste and smell of citrus, with the crunch of any sort of nuts always seems to remind me of the holiday season. What a great cookie …


  • 5
    Niki - November 28, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

    no blog, so here’s my recipe:
    Oatmeal Cookies
    Makes 4 1/2 dozen

    1 cup butter or margarine, soft (don’t use tub margarine)
    1 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    1/2 cup craisins
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    1/2 cup white chocolate chips
    3 cups oats

    Mix butter thru vanilla.
    Mix flour thru nutmeg.
    Combine wet and dry mixtures.
    Stir in raisins, nuts, and choc chips.
    Stir in oasts.
    Roll to 1″ balls, place on ungreased cookie sheet, flatten slightly.
    Bake 375* for 8-9 minutes for chewy or 11-12 minutes for crispy cookies.


  • 6
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen - November 28, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

    I agree pistachio and orange taste wonderful together, these are beautiful.


  • 7
    Elizabeth Bourne - November 28, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

    I also don’t have a blog, though I am really tempted this year! Here is my recipe…
    Grandma Patterson’s Ginger Cookies
    1-1/2 C shortening
    2C sugar
    1C molasses


  • 8
    Elizabeth Bourne - November 28, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

    I also don’t have a blog, though I am really tempted this year! Here is my recipe…
    Grandma Patterson’s Ginger Cookies
    1-1/2 C shortening
    2C sugar
    1C molasses
    1 t salt
    2 t vanilla
    2 eggs
    1 1/2 t ginger
    2 t baking soda
    4 C flour

    Preheat oven to 350* Mix ingredients in the order given. Mix well after each addition. Chill well. Make into small balls (cookie scoop works great for this) and roll in sugar. ** do not flatten.
    Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 about 15 minuts.
    makes 5 dozen, can be halved easily.


  • 9
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction - November 28, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

    These are just lovely, Katie and definitely perfect for any cookie exchange!


  • 10
    Anne - November 28, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

    Chocolate Bliss Cookies (a family favorite)
    8 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
    3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    2 eggs
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1/2 cup flour


  • 11
    Anne - November 28, 2011 @ 5:41 pm

    sorry about submitting before recipe was complete…
    Chocolate Bliss Cookies (a family favorite)
    8 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
    3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    2 eggs
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1/2 cup flour
    1/4 tsp. baking powder
    1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks
    2 cups walnuts, chopped
    Microwave chocolate squares in microwaveable bowl on high for 2 mins. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in butter, eggs and vanilla with wooden spoon until well blended. Stir in flour and baking powder. Stir in chocolate chunks and walnuts.
    Using small cookie scoop drop onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for approx. 14 mins. or until cookies are puffed and feel set to the touch. Cool for 1 min. and remove from cookie sheet onto wire racks. Makes approx. 30 small cookies.


  • 12
    Stefani - November 29, 2011 @ 3:05 am

    No blog, so here’s a pumpkin cookie recipe!

    2 cups softened butter
    1 can pumpkin puree (15-ounces)
    2 eggs
    2 cups sugar
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. salt
    2 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1 tsp. nutmeg
    2 tsp. vanilla
    4 cups flour
    1/2 cup butter
    1/2 cup light brown sugar
    1/4 cup whole milk
    1 tsp. vanilla
    23/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat 2 cups butter on medium-high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. beat until combined, scraping the bowl as needed. Add eggs and 2 tsp. vanilla. Beat until combined.

    Beat in the pumpkin. Then, add the flour and beat to incorporate.

    Drop dough 2″ apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tops are set. Transfer to a wire rack to let cool.

    For the icing, in a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar until melted and smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in milk and 1 tsp. vanilla. Beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Spread onto cookies.


  • 13
    Lisa - November 29, 2011 @ 7:04 am

    Mmmm, this recipe looks delicious! I can’t believe it’s that time of year again! I’ll post this to my FB page to share with others! Thanks!


  • 14
    Anne - November 29, 2011 @ 9:09 am

    Shortbread cookies
    2 sticks butter, room temperature
    2 cups flour
    1/2 cup sugar
    Cream butter and sugar. Add sifted flour little at a time, gently mixing. (You’ll end up using your fingers to complete the mixing).
    Place dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll out to desired consistency (no less than 1/4″). Cut into pieces and place on cookie sheet (using parchment paper or silpat mat). Bake at 325 degrees for 15 – 18 mins.


  • 15
    Tracy - November 29, 2011 @ 9:16 am

    These look so delicate and lovely!!


  • 16
    Tickled Red - November 29, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

    These look delicious. Santa will be a happy fella when I leave some of theses for him ;D


  • 17
    Jamie S - November 29, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

    These have been a new family tradition for a few years. Be prepared to make them a few times since they go fast and also are best if eaten within a few days of being made. Super easy, they cook while you sleep and are ready when you wake up!!!! :)

    -Preheat oven to 350
    -Combine & beat until foamy 2 egg whites
    -Add gradually while beating 2/3 c sugar & Green food coloring – a drop or two
    -Continue beating until firm then fold in by hand
    1 pkg. mint chocolate chips
    (mini chips are best & there are tiny green & chocolate
    squares available some places. If you can’t find those finely chopped Andes mints work as well.)
    -Drop onto cookie sheet (with parchment paper if available)
    -Put into preheated oven then turn oven off & leave 4-5 hours or overnight.
    (If cookies are still moist heat oven to warm then turn off for a little longer.)

    Variation – use a drop of red food coloring, a drop of peppermint extract, & fold in crushed candy canes


  • 18
    Liz - November 30, 2011 @ 7:30 am

    I make almond cookies with chocolate icing. YUM!

    1 cup Butter
    ⅔ cups Granulated Sugar
    2 cups Flour
    1 teaspoon Almond Extract

    Cream together the butter with the granulated sugar. Mix in flour and extract. Scoop out a spoonful of the mixture and shape into 1-inch balls. (The mixture will just barely come together.) Put each ball onto a cookie sheet and press your thumb into each one to make an indention. Bake 14-18 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool.

    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
    2/3 cup cocoa powder
    3 cups powdered sugar
    1/3 cup milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
    Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.


  • 19
    Louise Hyson - November 30, 2011 @ 6:04 pm

    no blog- recipe intead

    Anise Cakes
    4 eggs
    2 cups sugar
    4 cups sifted all purpose flour (sift before measuring)
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    4 teaspoons anise seeds

    Beat eggs and sugar at high speed for 1/2 hour. Add flour, salt and baking powder (sifted together). Add anise seeds. Roll out 1/2 inch thick on lightly floured board; cut with cookie cutters (stars, hearts and bells or your choice). Let stand 12 hours or overnight. Cakes will get hard crust while standing. Do not cover. Bake in 350F oven 12 minutes. Makes 3 dozen 3-inch cookies or 6 dozen 2-inch cookies.


  • 20
    Heavenly Houswife - December 01, 2011 @ 6:57 am

    Well, its a very simple cookie, but I think it is amazing anyway:


  • 21
    Erin - December 01, 2011 @ 8:46 am

    I made these cookies today. They are absolutely delicious! However, I found the instructions a bit… odd. Form the dough into a ball, then flatten and chill. I figured the next step would be, ‘Cut out cookies with cookie cutter,’ but then you say to scoop out a heaping tablespoon of dough. Did you mean to flatten and cut with forms, or leave in a ball and scoop? The dough was far too hard to just scoop; it probably would have been fine without chilling (if scooping). I used a cookie cutter, but I am still unclear on the original instructions. These cookies hold their form very well!


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — December 1st, 2011 @ 10:20 AM

      The recipe was adapted from the cookbook and that is what the instructions said. I’m guessing that the flattening it was so the dough would chill faster rather than being in one large, thick hunk. I was impatient with my first batch a while ago and did not chill them. The cookies didn’t hold their shape well because the dough was to soft, so I found the chilling essential.

  • 22
    Megan - December 01, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

    This recipe has been handed down a couple generations in my family. They are super yummy and easy to make! The sour cream gives them a wonderful texture.


    5 cups flour and more if needed
    3 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 cup sugar
    1/4 tsp salt
    4 eggs beaten
    1 cup sour cream
    2 sticks butter
    3/4 tsp. vanilla

    Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, mix sour cream into flour with hands,then add rest of ingrediants slowly. Keep adding more flour until youhave a smooth not sticky dough.(it may take 1 or 2 more cups of flouror more). I put dough into fridge for a few hours or up to 2 days.Roll into knots or balls.
    Bake 350 oven for 15 or 20 min., bottom of cookies will be brown.
    cool cookies. ______________________________________________________
    1cup powdered sugar
    1 or 2 tsp. lemon extract. (I use 1)
    few drops of water

    Mix until medium thick consistancy. Dip just top ofcookie into mixture. Let them dry very well and then store in fridge until your ready to serve.
    Should make about 100 cookies if small enough.

    megancrose at gmail dot com


  • 23
    anne hill - December 01, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

    Christ-mint cookies:
    2/3 cup soft butter
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 eggs
    2 teaspoon vanilla
    3 cups flour
    1 teaspoon soda
    Andes mints
    2 packages (6 ounce ea) semi-sweet chocolates
    Heat over to 375. Mix butter, sugar, egg, vanilla. Stir in all other ingredients excepts Andes mints.
    Drop dough onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8-10 min or until golden brown. In the last minute, place an Andes mint on top of each cookie & gently press in. Allow to melt about 1 min. Remove & let cool a little before removing from cookie sheet.


  • 24
    Stephen Wesche - December 01, 2011 @ 6:30 pm

    I really enjoy Black Magic Chocolate Mint Cookies. You can find the recipe all over the internet :)


  • 25
    Carmen - December 05, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

    Poor Man’s Cookies
    This recipe has no butter, which is why it’s for the “poor man”.
    2 cups rolled oats
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/4 cup hot water
    1/2 cup canola oil
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 cup raisins, nuts, choc chips, or M & Ms (optional)
    Mix all but baking soda and water. Mix baking soda and water separately, then combine with the rest of ingredients. Use your hands to roll into walnut-sized balls. Note: Wet hands to make ingredients stick together. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
    Note: Over-baking will result in very hard cookies!
    Makes 3 1/2 dozen.


  • 26
    Molly Jo - December 05, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

    [This recipe has been posted on my blog, but I don't have any photos with it so it won't link above.]

    Here’s another great Christmas cookie recipe from my mom. These were always my favorite; even now I still can never get enough.

    I haven’t made them yet this year, so there’s no photos on the blog. But trust me. As soon as I make them, I’ll photograph their melty gooey yumminess for all to see.

    1 cup butter
    1-1/2 cup sifted confectioners sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 egg
    2-1/2 cup sifted flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp cream of tartar
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 cup small gumdrops, sliced (don’t use black)

    Thoroughly cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat in egg.
    Sift together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Gradually stir into creamed mixture; mix well.
    Shape dough into roll 2″ in diameter x 12″ long. Wrap in wax paper, chill several hours or overnight.
    Cut 1/4-inch thick slices. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Decorate tops with gumdrop slices.
    Bake at 350 for approximately 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.
    Cool slightly before removing from pan.
    Makes approximately 4 dozen.

    This recipe has been entered in the 2011 Holiday Recipe Exchange. “Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by OXO.”


  • 27
    Molly Jo - December 05, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

    These were my Dad’s favorite cookies at Christmas. I haven’t made them yet this year, so don’t have any photos for my blog. Again, operative word being yet.

    These are like little mini fruitcakes that go great with coffee, tea, egg nog, milk, mulled wine, cider, hot chocolate… pretty much any holiday beverage you prefer.

    They’re great to give as gifts, store well in cookie jars and air-tight canisters. They also travel/ship well for those out-of-town travelers and Care Packages.

    1/2 cup butter
    1 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    1/4 cup sour cream
    1/4 cup sifted flour
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp ground cloves
    1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
    1 cup finely snipped dates
    1/2 cup raisins
    1 cup chopped pecans
    1/2 cup chopped candied cherries
    Halved candied cherries (to top cookies with)

    Cream butter, sugar, and eggs until fluffy. Stir in sour cream.
    Sift together flour, cinnamon, soda, salt, cloves. Stir into creamed mix.
    Mix in oats, pecans, dates, raisins and chopped cherries.
    Drop from spoon 2″ apart onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Top each with halved cherry.
    Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.
    Cool on rack.
    Makes approximately 5 dozen.

    This recipe has been entered in the 2011 Holiday Recipe Exchange. “Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by OXO.”


  • 28
    Patricia Scarpin - December 14, 2011 @ 8:26 am

    Katie, these cookies look adorable! I’m a sucker for all things citrus and also happen to love pistachios – these are perfect for me!


  • 29
    Rory - June 01, 2014 @ 5:17 pm

    Should we measure the pistachios before or after chopping them up?


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — June 3rd, 2014 @ 9:52 AM

      chop first, then measure

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