Pistachio Saffron Cookies

Kesar pista cookies (shortbread) are the perfect treat with delicate saffron flavors and ground pistachios! These pistachio saffron cookies taste delicious paired with chai for a tea time snack.   Butter pista cookies melt in your mouth and come together quick.
Three kesar pista cookies on a white fluted plate decorated with frosting and crushed pista and rose petals. on

These are shortbread cookies that are filled with pistachios and require no eggs.

Kesar pista (saffron pistachio) cookies inspired by a hugely popular Indian flavor profile based on kesar pista kulfi or ice cream! I have used the flavor profile to make fusion desserts such as Saffron Pistachio Milk Cake and Kesar Pista Cupcakes. So, making a pistachio saffron cookie version was just a matter of time! If you are really into the flavors, have this with kesar milk! I would love them with a cup of masala chai.

Saffron pistachio shortbread

Ingredient Notes

The good thing is this requires ingredients you likely already have in your pantry! Pistachios and saffron are used often in Indian sweets so I’m banking on you already having those stocked. No cookie cutters needed as you will roll the dough into a log and cut slices.

  • Butter – room temperature
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Pistachios (make sure unsalted, with salted pistachios they may be too salty for a cookie)
  • Milk – any type of milk works, it is for blooming the saffron
  • Saffron
  • Cardamom powder

Optional

  • White chocolate, for drizzling on top
  • Rose petals, for pop of color on top

Tip: To help butter come to room temperature quicker, cut it into slices

Ingredients for saffron pistaschio shortbread prepared

Tips on Making the Pistachio Saffron Shortbread Cookies

  1. Grind/pulse the pistachios – if you like some pieces you can pulse the pistachios so it is not all finely ground.
  2. Blooming the saffron – be generous with your pinch of saffron! It is not a flavor that comes through easily in baked goods, so don’t be afraid to add a little extra.
  3. Dough is crumbly – this is a shortbread cookie so the dough will look a bit crumbly but you will see as you work with it, it will come together to form logs.
  4. Cutting the cookie dough – keep shaping the log by rolling it while cutting if you want perfect circle cookies. I just went with the shape without fussing too much, they will taste good no matter what they look like!
  5. Decorating the cookies – White chocolate tastes great with these flavors and rose petals add a pop of color!

Try it? Leave a review, love to hear feedback! Or tag me on Instagram @some_indian_girl

Three kesar pista cookies on a white fluted plate decorated with frosting and crushed pista and rose petals. on

Kesar Pista – Saffron Pistaschio Shortbread Cookies

Shilpa Joshi
Kesar pista cookies (shortbread) are the perfect treat with delicate saffron flavors and ground pistachios! These pistachio saffron cookies taste delicious paired with chai for a tea time snack.   Butter pista cookies melt in your mouth and come together quick.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert, tea
Cuisine Indian
Servings 20 cookies
Calories 58 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Mixing bowl
  • 1 Mixer
  • 1 Parchment paper
  • 1 Baking sheet

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup sugar (note, ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp sugar) 90g
  • 1 cup flour (note, 1 cup plus 2 tbsp flour)
  • ½ cup pistachios ground, unsalted
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • pinch saffron generous pinch for more saffron flavor
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • white chocolate optional, for drizzling on top
  • rose petals optional for garnish on top

Instructions
 

  • Prep ingredients: Leave out butter to come to room temperature.Grind pistachios. Bloom saffron in 1 tbsp milk. Preheat oven to 350F.
    Ingredients for saffron pistaschio shortbread prepared
  • Cream butter and sugar together. Add bloomed saffron.
    Butter cubes and sugar in mixing bowl.
  • Add flour and pistachios slowly while mixing. Note: dough will be crumbly but you should be able to work it to come together.
    Ground pistaschios added to mixing bowl.
  • Work dough to form two logs. Cover in plastic wrap and freeze 30 minutes.
    Dough shaped into two logs
  • Cut approximately 1/4 inch slices.
    Cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • Line up cookie dough slices on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
    Cookies laid on parchment lined baking sheet to be baked.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes. They will just be beginning to turn a light golden color at the edges.
    Optionally decorate with melted white chocolate chips, ground pistachios and rose petals.
    Three kesar pista cookies on a white fluted plate decorated with frosting and crushed pista and rose petals. on

Nutrition

Calories: 58kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 37mgPotassium: 34mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 156IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg
Keyword indian cookies, indian tea snack, kesar pista cookies, saffron pistachio shortbread
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