Nod to St. Patrick: Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cookies

It was tempting to reach for green food coloring and my too-large box of cookie cutters to celebrate St. Patty’s Day.

But a sizable bag of unshelled pistachios on my countertop convinced me otherwise this year. Think of these cookies as a sophisticated twist, with just a tease of pistachio green, to summon the luck of the Irish… or at least a big glass of cold milk.

These rich, chocolatey cookies contain both cocoa powder and melted dark chocolate: the finer the cocoa and solid chocolate you use, the richer the flavor in the end.

I used lightly sea-salted pistachios; if you opt for more heavily salted nuts, consider reducing the salt in the recipe itself.

Cookies will spread considerably when baked because of the melted chocolate addition. You can minimize spread by chilling dough thoroughly before baking. Cookies will be thin but still chewy once cooled if they aren’t overcooked.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day… and enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cookies, yields 4- 5 dozen cookies


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter-flavored solid vegetable shortening
  • 2/3 cup white, granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 8 oz dark chocolate, melted
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips or roughly chopped dark chocolate


  1. In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and shortening with sugars until light and well-blended.
  2. On lower speed, mix in eggs and vanilla until combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Continue mixing and add the melted chocolate.
  4. In a separate small bowl or on a piece of parchment, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  5. With mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
  6. Stir in chopped pistachios and dark chocolate chips. Chill dough at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. Dough can also be frozen for later use. Note: if freezing, consider rolling into a cylinder wrapped with plastic and foil- dough can then be sliced with a knife when ready to bake.
  7. Preheat oven to 350F. Portion dough into 1 inch balls and bake 8-10 minutes. Center should look not quite set when removing from oven but will finish cooking as it rests.
  8. Cookies will be thin with crisp edges and a chewy center.



22 thoughts on “Nod to St. Patrick: Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cookies

        • Oh yay!! I’m so glad it was good and thank you for letting me know 🙂 My mom tried the brioche recipe the other day and hated it, lol! Still don’t know if something happened or if she just doesn’t like brioche. Always makes me nervous when things don’t work, so I’m so glad this one did! What substitutions did you make? And happy StP Day 🙂

          • Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 🙂 I adjusted the recipe to make a single serving size, which I often do, since I typically cook only for myself. I sauteed the apples in a tiny bit of vegan butter and agave, and I replaced the rest of the butter with almond milk, which I added just before baking. I also used Ener-G egg replacer in place of the egg, and made a blend of sorghum flour/tapioca starch/almond meal/xanthan gum to replace the all-purpose flour. That flour blend, I’ve found, is very close in flavor and texture to all-purpose, so it worked very well here…By the way, I’m not going to post the butternut brownie recipe(s) just yet. I’m planning a “chocolate chip butternut brownies two ways” post, but I’m afraid one of those ways needs some fine-tuning. The other, however, is just right. If you’d like, I’ll be happy to give it to you.

          • Thank you for telling me what you did! I have a lot of homework to do… some of those ingredients I haven’t used before. I like the flour blend. Are they close to equal parts of each?
            I’ll wait for your post of the butternut brownies, and I might just make the other one in the meantime- then I’ll be able to compare. Can’t imagine a brownie that I won’t like… 😉

          • Gluten-free baking can a bit challenging. Believe me, I have made more than my share of inedible g-free baked goods 🙂 –at least until I figured out how the different flours taste and work in combination with one another. When I made the substitution for your recipe, I used three flours that are fairly mild, or neutral-tasting–akin to all-purpose. But they all have different textures and weights, so the tricky part is to combine them in a way that gives you the taste and texture you’re looking for. And you almost always need xanthan gum–it makes the dough stretchy, which is what gluten does for wheat flour dough. For the cobbler, I used 1/4 cup flour total: 2 tbsp sorghum, 1 tbsp tapioca starch, 1 tbsp almond meal, plus 1/4 tsp xanthan gum. If you try your hand at g-free baking, I recommend staying away from bean flours or mixes that contain them. They’re super-strong tasting…I still have nightmares about the time I unassumingly made chickpea flour pancakes for breakfast! And do let me know if you try the brownies…and what you think. 🙂

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