My mom loves holiday baking and this is a recipe for cranberry lemon pistachio cookies that she has been making for many years. They are almost too pretty to eat. The tart lemon taste of the icing has to be my favourite part of these colourful Christmas cookies. Because they’re so good, making these cranberry pistachio wreath cookies is a tradition I’m only too happy to continue!
I usually don’t start my Christmas baking this early. I usually end up leaving it to the last minute (NOT GOOD) 🙁 This year I started baking a few weeks ago and I am almost done which means I have more time for other holiday activities in the coming weeks. Yippee!
The only problem with making cranberry pistachio wreath cookies this early is… you guessed it. I’m pretty sure they won’t last until Christmas. They’re too irresistible!
So starting early might just mean I have to whip up another batch. But they’re fun to make so I don’t mind at all.
Since they are wreath shaped, why not tie some ribbon or string around them and hang some on the tree? Festive treats like these cranberry lemon pistachio cookies would look cute on any Christmas tree.
Another idea is to double the recipe and give some as gifts. I’d love a gift of cranberry pistachio wreath cookies! You can put them in cellophane bags and tie them with red and green ribbons. That would be a great festive treat for friends, coworkers or neighbours.
Ingredients for Cranberry Pistachio Christmas Cookies
There are no surprises in the list of ingredients for cranberry lemon pistachio cookies. All the usual suspects are there, such as flour, sugar, butter and egg. In addition, lemon and vanilla gives a delicate flavour to these colourful Christmas cookies.
The topping is really simple. When they are completely cool (that part is important!) you dip them in frosting, which is just icing sugar and lemon juice. You don’t need to get fancy with piping the frosting on these cranberry lemon pistachio cookies. Instead, simply dip them in!
Next up, it’s time to sprinkle on the cranberries and pistachios. You can add less or more than the recipe says, if you want to.
Either shell the pistachios yourself or you can save a bit of time using some shelled pistachios instead. They will stick nicely to the frosting if you press down gently. Let the cranberry pistachio wreath cookies fully dry before serving them up!
A Few Variations for These Wreath Cookies
If you want to make these extra fancy, why not add some edible flowers? Use less of the cranberries and pistachios if you’re going to try that. You might find edible flowers at a local farmers’ market. Some grocery stores carry them, or gourmet food stores.
Don’t shop in the florist section! You never know what’s been sprayed with pesticides and other things you don’t want on your cranberry pistachio wreath cookies.
Not a pistachio fan? I don’t think I even met anyone who didn’t love these little nuts. But if they aren’t your favourite, there are other options. Chopped almonds would work, or chopped mixed nuts. Even chopped walnuts.
As for the cranberries, they look and taste good. But you could sub dried cherries for a similar look but slightly different flavour. Just chop them up a bit if they’re too big.
You won’t get the pretty green colour which goes well with the red of the cranberries. But they’d still be pretty and taste good. Just use your favourite kind of nut on these colourful Christmas cookies, if you aren’t a pistachio fan.
So what other variations could you make? Well you could add some food colouring to the frosting mixture if you want a different colour on there. If you aren’t using pistachios, some green frosting might look festive. You can get experimental with these cranberry pistachio Christmas cookies.
Personally I love the clean, pretty look of the white frosting. It looks like snow – something we are used to in Canada around Christmas! It’s easy to make too, since you are mixing lemon juice with icing sugar, and that’s all!
I find that making cranberry pistachio Christmas cookies always puts me in a festive spirit. They are dressed up for the holidays and not difficult to make at all. Best of all, the flavour of cranberry lemon pistachio cookies is so good.
You might also like Lemon Ricotta Amaretti Budino, Chocolate Sugar Cookies or Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies.
Cranberry Lemon Pistachio Cookies
Cranberry Lemon Pistachio Cookies
- 1 Cup all purpose flour plus more for work surface
- 3/4 Cup cornstarch
- 1 Teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Cup unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks room temperature
- 5 Teaspoon lemon zest finely grated
- 2 Tablespoon lemon juice fresh squeezed
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla
- 1 3/4 Cups icing sugar
- 1 Cup pistachios shelled unsalted, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 Cup dried cranberries coarsely chopped
- Whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy.
- Mix in yolks, lemon zest, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low, and gradually mix in flour mixture. Shape into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Using a 2 1/2 inch round fluted cutter, cut out wreaths. Cut out centers of wreaths using a 7/8 inch round cutter.
- Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. Bake until just golden, about 12 minutes.
- Let cool completely on wire racks.
- Stir together icing sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. Dip surface of each cookie in icing, and sprinkle with pistachios and cranberries.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
What a wonderful festive treat they make! If you’re only going to make a couple kinds of cookies this Christmas, I heartily recommend these colourful Christmas cookies!
If you are looking for other festive looking cookies, try these Chocolate Chip Buttercream Jam Sandwich Cookies.
Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Excited to try these. All of my favorite flavors, and so pretty! But I notice that your pistachios are green. Mine are just brown inside and out. Not nearly as pretty as yours. Any suggestions?