I've been dreaming about these Apricot and Pistachio Shortbread cookies for a long time. The combination of apricots and pistachios just sounded so good and I was anxious to make a cookie with these two ingredients. The verdict is in and the combination is delicious and I think you'll enjoy these cookies too. The ingredient list is short and the best part is that you can make them with your favorite nut or dried fruit.
Making the Apricot Pistachio Cookie Dough
The cookie dough is one I developed a few months ago and first used for my Salted Pecan Brown Sugar Cookies. I wanted to develop and a nutty cookie because I love pecan and ended with a recipe that will be the basis for other cookies. The basic dough contains just 4 ingredients:
- Brown Sugar
To those ingredients, you can add your favorite flavorings (vanilla, almond extract) or spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom). Next, add your favorite fillings:
- Chopped Nuts - Almonds, Pecans or Walnuts
- Dried Fruits - Cherries, Apricots, Pineapple
The cookie dough is formed into two logs, about 5-6 inches each, wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for at least 2 hours to chill and firm the dough. Chilling the dough will make it easier to slice the cookies and they won't spread very much during baking.
Baking the Cookies
Once you're ready to bake the cookies, slice the cookies into 1/4-inch slices and bake at 300 degrees F for 22-25 minutes. The cookies can be placed close together during baking, about a 1-inch apart because they hardly spread and they maintain their beautiful round shape.
The cookies are baked at a low heat to prevent browning. The final cookies will be slightly crisp when they first come out of the oven but will soften after they are stored.
When I am slicing the cookies I measure the first few slices and once I see what 1/4-inch thick looks like I eyeball the remaining slices. You want the cookies to be the same thickness so that they bake evenly.
When the cookies are done, they will be slightly browned on the bottom and a little crispy on the edges. Cool them on a cookie rack and then store them in an air-tight container. The cookies will soften as they sit in the container.
Make These Cookies Ahead
These cookies are perfect for making ahead. They are good in the refrigerator for up to one (1) week and in the freezer for 2 months. During the week you can slice the cookies and bake what you need for the day. Or if you know people who love to bake and love the taste of fresh-baked cookies, the cookie roll, wrapped and tied in plastic and parchment paper for presentation makes a great gift. Make sure to include the baking instructions.
I hope you try these cookies. If you do bake them and you post a picture on Instagram, please tag me @bakesbybrownsugar and #bakesbybrownsugar.
Other Holiday Cookie Recipes
For other shortbread cookie ideas check out these favorites:
- Shortbread Cookies
- Strawberry Shortbread Cookies
- Chocolate Cherry Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies
- Chocolate Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies
Apricot and Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
- 1-3/4 cups (227 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 tablespoons (169 grams) salted butter room temperature
- 10 tablespoons (125 grams)dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 3/4 cup (94 grams) chopped salted roasted pistachios
- 3/4 cup (116 grams) chopped dried apricots
- Measure your flour into a bowl and whisk to aerate the flour and remove any lumps.
- In a large mixing bowl of the bowl of a stand mixer combine the butter, brown sugar, salt, almond extract and vanilla extract. Mix on low until ingredients are roughly combined then increase mixer speed to medium and beat until mixture is lighter in color and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the flour all at once and mix on low speed until the flour is well combined and the dough has started to come together about 3 minutes. The cookie dough will have a crumbly texture in the beginning and then it will come together into a smooth dough. Add the chopped pistachios and dried apricots and mix on low speed until well combined, about 30 seconds.
- Turn the cookie dough out onto a lightly floured surface. You can turn it out onto a large piece of parchment paper or Silpat. Use your hands to shape the dough into a large ball and then divide it in half. Each half should weigh about 350 grams. Shape each half into a log about 6 inches long and 2 inches thick. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
- Using a sharp knife to slice the ends of the cookie logs to even out the ends. Slice each log into 1/4-inch rounds and place each slice on a cookie sheet about 1-inch apart. These cookies don’t spread much. Bake for 22-25 minutes. Remove the cookies and allow to cool.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container.