Pistachio-Crusted Icebox Cookies

Icebox cookies get a whole new look and feel with this nut-crusted version. With a pleasantly sandy texture reminiscent of shortbread, they walk the line between savory and sweet. The bits of fruit provide bursts of sweetness that are nicely complemented by the lightly salted crunch of pistachios.

Prep
15 mins
Bake
25 to 30 mins
Total
1 hr 40 mins
Yield
about 3 dozen cookies
Pistachio-Crusted Icebox Cookies - select to zoom
Pistachio-Crusted Icebox Cookies - select to zoom
Pistachio-Crusted Icebox Cookies - select to zoom

Instructions

  1. To prepare the fruit: In a small bowl or a large measuring cup, combine the fruit and your liquid of choice; all of the fruit should be covered. Allow the fruit to soak for 1 hour, to absorb most of the liquid.

  2. To make and shape the dough: In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, salt, vanilla, and almond extract.

  3. Add the flour, nuts, and fruit (drained if necessary), stirring until just combined.

  4. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a log about 2" in diameter.

  5. Place about half the chopped pistachios (45g, a generous 1/3 cup) on a piece of parchment paper or in a large, shallow bowl. Roll one log of dough in the chopped pistachios to evenly coat the sides. Add the remaining pistachios and repeat with the other log.

  6. Wrap the logs in plastic, then aluminum foil; chill for at least 2 hours, or freeze for 1 hour.

  7. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment.

  8. To cut and bake the cookies: Working with one log of dough at a time (and keeping the other refrigerated), unwrap and cut into 1/4"-thick slices. Place the slices on the prepared baking sheet.

  9. Repeat with the remaining log of dough.

  10. Bake the cookies for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they feel firm when gently pressed in the center. They won't brown much; the long, slow bake is designed to prevent them from darkening.

  11. Remove the cookies from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool.  

  12. Storage information: When completely cool, wrap the cookies airtight and store at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • For a unique batch of crackers ideally suited for cheese, make these cookies savory rather than sweet! Cut the confectioners' sugar to 1/4 cup (28g). Slice the dough about 1/8" thick, or as thin as you can manage. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets and sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Bake for 18 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges.