Pistachio Pudding Cookies

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Pistachio pudding cookies are a sweet treat for spring holidays. You can fill them with buttercream to make cookie sandwiches or just enjoy on their own!

My kids are always asking for cookies, and I’ll be honest, it’s hard to resist them.

When holidays roll around, it’s even harder. I try to teach my kids about various holidays and often make my Instant Pot Irish lamb stew for St. Patrick’s Day, but I also wanted to offer them a dessert option.

My older son has been addicted to pistachios lately, so I wanted to remake this recipe for pistachio pudding cookies I originally posted for my pal Jamie’s website!

stacked pistachio pudding cookies sandwiched with buttercream

Pistachios are a great ingredient to use for making St. Patrick’s Day desserts because they are naturally green and are fairly mild in flavor.

In fact, when I was mixing up these cookies I had flashbacks to making spritz Christmas tree cookies as a child — I had never realized my mom’s special ingredient was pistachio pudding!

Anyway, these aren’t a traditional Irish dessert, but they’re pretty darn cute and are a hit with my kids. Plus you get, as my son calls them, “bonus cookies” thanks to the clover cut-outs!

These cookies are just as easy as a regular sugar cookie, and actually take less work because you roll out the dough before chilling. This makes it much easier to roll out and gets rid of the need for additional flour as well.

unbaked pistachio pudding cookies on a tray with spatula and cookie cutters

What flavor is pistachio pudding?

These cookies have a sweet, mildly nutty flavor.

Pistachio pudding does contain pistachios, but one of the main flavors actually comes from almonds! If you’re a fan of almond extract in baked goods (I definitely am) then you’ll enjoy these cookies.

You could also add more pistachio flavor by rolling the finished cookie sandwich edges in finely chopped pistachios.

Why add pudding mix to cookies?

I don’t often add pudding mix to cookies, but it’s a great option for adding flavor.

Pudding mix also helps to keep the cookies moist and soft. This may seem counterintuitive because pudding mix is dry, but trust me, it works!

Be sure to use only instant pudding mix, not cook and serve. 

Also, we’re not preparing the mix! It goes right into the cookies as the dry powder.

buttercream being spread onto pistachio pudding cookie

How do I make soft cookies?

For cut-out cookies that are soft instead of crisp, a few things need to happen.

First, make sure to beat the sugar and butter together until fluffy before adding the egg. 

Creaming the butter and sugar creates pockets of air. This layering of air, sugar, and fat ensures a tender, not-too-dense cookie.

Second, chill the cut-outs before baking, while the oven preheats. This helps them keep their shape as well as melts the butter and sugar slower in the oven.

Third, underbake the cookies just slightly. Our instinct is to bake cookies until golden brown, but with cut out cookies you want the the edges to just be beginning to brown.

Let them cool on the pan a few minutes to firm up before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

hand placing cut out cookie on top of pistachio pudding cookie

What is a linzer cookie?

Linzer cookies are named after the torte of the same name. It is a latticed tart with a jam filling, so the jam peeks through the lattice.

For Linzer cookies, half the batch of cookies features a cut-out shape. Jam is spread onto the whole cookie, and then topped with the cut-out cookie. Oftentimes they are also dusted with powdered sugar.

For this version, I opted for a buttercream instead of jam. I think they would also be delicious with an addition of orange marmalade for a tangy-sweet flavor.

close up of pistachio pudding cookie sandwich with shamrock cutout

These pistachio pudding cookies are festive and fun for St. Patrick’s Day, but you can make them any time of year!

If you like pistachio flavor, why not try my honey pistachio shortbread?

close up of pistachio pudding cookie sandwich with shamrock cutout

Pistachio Pudding Cookies

Pistachio pudding cookies easy to make. You can fill them with buttercream to make cookie sandwiches or just enjoy on their own!
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 28 mins
Course Cookies
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 537 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 3.4- ounce box instant pistachio pudding
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the frosting

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Instructions

  • In using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together pudding, butter, and granulated sugar until fluffy.
  • Scrape down sides and beat in egg. Turn the speed down to low and slowly mix in flour and salt until well-combined.
  • Dump dough onto a sheet of parchment paper. Cover with another sheet of parchment, and roll dough to approximately 1/8-inch thick. Transfer dough (on the parchment) to a cookie sheet and chill for 10 minutes.
  • Once dough has chilled, place cookies and parchment on counter. Remove the top parchment, flip it over, place it on the dough again, and carefully flip the entire thing over. Remove the parchment that is now on top. (This step will help keep your cookies from sticking to the parchment after cutting.)
  • Cut out rounds using a 3-inch round cutter. For half the cookies, cut out the center shape with a 1.5-inch clover cutter. Place cookies back on baking sheet and put in the freezer.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Once the oven has preheated, remove cookies from the freezer, transfer to a clean parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake cookies for 6-8 minutes. Note that clover cut-outs will bake faster than larger cookies.
  • Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the frosting, beat together softened butter and powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and milk and beat until frosting is fluffy.
  • Spread frosting on bottom of full cookie round in a circular motion. Top with clover-hole cookie and press gently.


Notes

  • Dough might seem crumbly at first but will come together while rolling.
  • If dough is too cold to cut, let rest a few minutes to warm up.
  • You can bake the clover cut-outs as they are, or re-roll the dough to create more sandwich cookies.
  • If you want a decorate edge for the frosting, use a pastry bag and M2 tip, then pipe from the outside to the middle in a circle.
  • For extra festivity, add sprinkles to the center hole.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cookie sandwichCalories: 537 kcalCarbohydrates: 80 gProtein: 3 gFat: 24 gSaturated Fat: 15 gCholesterol: 81 mgSodium: 310 mgPotassium: 45 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 61 gIron: 1 mg
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