Citrus Pistachio Leaf Cookies

Believe it or not, there are a few people in my family that DON’T like decorated sugar cookies!  I thought we should disown them, but Mom wouldn’t let me, so even though I cannot understand how ANYONE could not like my cookies, I always try to make an alternative for the {probably switched at birth} non-icing eaters in my family.

I found this recipe a few years ago in one of my most treasured cookie books, The Ultimate Cookie Collection, from Taste of Home.  I’m not kidding when I say treasured…see how many recipes I have marked?  I love this book.

It’s a great Christmas gift if you’re shopping for a baker, by the way.

The Taste of Home recipe calls for lemon, but I often use orange or a combination of both depending on my mood.  I also roll mine a little thicker than the recipe recommends because we like softer cookies.  Regardless, these are GOOD cookies.

Citrus Pistachio Leaf Cookies

Citrus Pistachio Leaf Cookies


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon half and half
  • 1 teaspoon orange,lemon, or vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon half and half
  • Pistachio citrus topping
  • 1/3 cup sugar {I prefer turbinado sugar}
  • 1/3 finely chopped pistachios
  • 2 teaspoons citrus zest


  1. Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg, half and half, and flavorings and mix well. Next sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and add to the wet ingredients little by little until completely incorporated.
  2. Divide the dough into three pieces, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1-2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the pistachio sugar by combining the ingredients above, and mixing well.
  4. When the dough is well chilled, roll to a 1/8-1/4 inch thickness on floured parchment paper and use a cookie cutter to cut into desired shapes. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  5. Before baking, whisk together the egg yolks, juice, and half and half. Brush the cutouts with a bit of egg mixture and sprinkle with pistachio sugar. Bake at 350 for 6-10 minutes until edges are slightly browned.
  6. For thinner, browner cookies, roll to 1/8 of an inch and bake for 6-8 minutes on an UNLINED baking sheet.
  7. For softer lighter cookies, roll cookies to 1/4 and inch thickness and bake for 8-10 minutes on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. Makes about 4-5 dozen medium sized cookies

When the dough is chilled, roll and cut the cookies.  Remember, you can use any cutter you like. They don’t have to be leaves. If you would like my tips for rolling and baking perfect cookies, click HERE.

The dough smells SOOOOOOOO good, and I love how you can see the zest in it.

I always set up a little sugar station for sugaring my cookie tops before I begin.

Brush the cookies with egg wash, and sprinkle.  Seriously, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this topping.  My kids and I eat the leftovers with a spoon!

I prefer mine warm, but they are delicious ANYTIME!  Pretty, soft, and perfect for those who prefer their cookies a little less sweet.

This is Thankgiving week!  I am up to my eyeballs in cookies and MORE, but I love it.

Tell me…what are you baking this week?