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Orange Pistachio Cookies for Christmas (The Best Pistachio Cookies)

These Orange Pistachio Cookies are a unique take on traditional crescent cookies. You need just 7 basic ingredients for this easy cookie recipe! These delicious cookies contain real pistachios with plenty of pistachio flavor.

Overhead view of Orange Pistachio Cookies dusted with powdered sugar on a tray

Creating This Pistachio Cookie Recipe

I hope everyone had an enjoyable, delicious, fun-filled Thanksgiving. Now that we’ve gotten through that milestone of the 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).

Because I like taking classic 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.

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Tools Needed to Make this Pistachio Cookie Recipe

I recommend having the following kitchen tools on hand for use when making this recipe for Pistachio Cookies:

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons – to measure the ingredients.
  • Food Processor – to finely chop the pistachio nuts
  • Large Mixing Bowl – to combine the dry ingredients.
  • Microplane – to zest the oranges.
  • Stand Mixer with Bowl – to beat the butter, sugar, and eggs before adding the dry ingredients. Alternatively, use a handheld electric mixer with a large bowl.
  • Parchment Paper – to line the cookie sheet.
  • Cookie Sheet – to bake the cookies on.
  • Wire Rack – to cool the baked, warm cookies on.
  • Fine Mesh Sifter – to sprinkle the powder sugar on the tops of the cookies with.

Ingredients for Pistachio Christmas Cookies

To make the Christmas crescent cookies, you’ll need just seven simple ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Egg Yolk
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Chopped Pistachios
  • Orange Zest

For the complete ingredient list and full instructions to make these nutty cookies, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

How to Make these Christmas Pistachio Cookies

I love how easy these orange pistachio cookies are to make! They do require some patience, as the dough has to chill for 2 hours and each cookie has to be shaped into crescents. Otherwise it’s a very simple recipe!

  1. Preheat the oven and line a pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar tog
  3. Slowly stir in the flour, nuts, and zest.
  4. Form the dough into a ball and flatten into a disc shape. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
  5. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Remove a heaping tablespoon of dough at a time, shaping into crescent shapes.
  7. Bake pistachio cookies on prepared baking sheet until cookies are lightly golden around the edges.
  8. Transfer to a cooling rack over a sheet of parchment paper.
  9. While still warm, dust the cookies with confectioners’ sugar.

The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

Close up view of Orange Pistachio Christmas Cookies on a blue napkin.

Tips for Making Pistachio Christmas Cookies

  • Use unsalted pistachios for best results.
  • To measure the pistachios, chop them up and then measure them. You’ll need 1 1/3 cups chopped pistachios.
  • Lemon zest will work in place of orange zest if you prefer or if you don’t have any oranges.
  • Christmas crescent cookies are easily adaptable with whatever nuts you have on hand or enjoy the most.
  • Do NOT skip chilling the dough. It needs those 2 hours in the fridge to firm up. If you don’t chill the dough, the cookies won’t hold their crescent shape and will flatten out in the oven.
  • You can roll these pistachio cookies in cookie dough balls or form them in crescent shapes. Whatever you prefer!
  • Bake the pistachio cookies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet so they don’t stick.

How to Store and Freeze Pistachio Cookies

The Christmas crescent cookies will last up to five days in an airtight container at room temperature. They can also be frozen for up to three months.

If possible, I recommend freezing the cookies without the powdered sugar on top. However, freezing them with the sugar on them won’t ruin them!

When ready to eat the frozen cookies, set at room temperature to thaw.

Give this Easy Pistachio Cookies a Try!

Next time you’re looking for the perfect cookie for someone who is a big fan of pistachios, give this Pistachio Cookies Recipe a try! Did you think they were one of the best Christmas cookies? Leave a comment below and give it a review for others to see what you thought of this holiday classic.

On Instagram? Share your photo and tag me with @goodlifeeats and #goodlifeeatsrecipes. I’d love to see your photo of these Christmas cookies with crunchy pistachios!

More Easy Christmas Cookies:

Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars are super festive with red and green funfetti sprinkles in the bars and crushed candy cane pieces on top!

Gingerbread Cookies are traditional this time of year, but these Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies offer a fun and unique twist on the classic.

A tasty ginger recipe that doesn’t require cut outs is this Caramel Pecan Gingersnap Thumbprints Recipe. 

These Almond Butter Cookies are the tastiest I’ve tried and make a great addition to your regular cooking baking. They’re the perfect alternative if you have a peanut allergy!

Classic chocolate chip cookies get a make over with white chocolate, coconut, macadamia nuts, and lemon. These White Chocolate Lemon Coconut Cookies are the perfect spring and summer cookie with a little tropical twist.

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pistachio orange crescent cookies

Orange Pistachio Cookies

Yield: 36
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

These Orange Pistachio Cookies are a unique take on traditional crescent cookies. You need just 7 basic ingredients for this easy cookie recipe! These delicious cookies contain real pistachios with plenty of pistachio flavor.

Ingredients

  • 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 cups very finely chopped pistachios
  • zest of one orange

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, beat the butter and 1/2 cup sugar together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the vanilla extract, yolk. Beat until combined.
  3. Slowly stir in the flour, nuts, and zest.
  4. For the dough into a ball and flatten into a disc shape. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
  5. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Remove a heaping tablespoon of dough at a time, shaping into crescent shapes. Arrange about 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
  7. Bake until cookies are lightly golden around the edges, about 15-20 minutes.
  8. While still warm, dust the cookies with confectioners sugar. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 18 Serving Size 2 cookies
Amount Per Serving Calories 228Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 37mgSodium 44mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 2gSugar 4gProtein 4g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!

Rory

Sunday 1st of June 2014

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

Katie

Tuesday 3rd of June 2014

chop first, then measure

Patricia Scarpin

Wednesday 14th of December 2011

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

Molly Jo

Monday 5th of December 2011

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.

INGREDIENTS: 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)

DIRECTIONS: 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.”

http://franklymydearmojo.com/2011/11/17/recipe-yuletide-drops-cookies/

Molly Jo

Monday 5th of December 2011

[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.

INGREDIENTS: 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)

DIRECTIONS: 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.”

http://franklymydearmojo.com/2011/11/17/recipe-gumdrop-gems-cookies/

Carmen

Monday 5th of December 2011

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.

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