Pecans may be substituted for the pistachios. We found these tasted better with scant icing; the nutritional numbers reflect half of the icing amount.
Make Ahead: The dough needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. The unfrosted cookies can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Servings: 36 cookies
- For the cookies
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 cup shelled roasted and unsalted pistachios, finely chopped (may substitute pecans)
- For the icing
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Freshly squeezed juice from half a lemon (2 tablespoons)
- Food coloring, preferably paste food coloring (see NOTE; optional)
For the cookies: Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch, lemon zest and flour; beat to form a smooth dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 8 hours and preferably overnight, until thoroughly chilled.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
Place the finely chopped pistachios in a bowl. Roll the chilled cookie dough into 1-inch balls, then roll them in the pistachios; place the balls on the baking sheet, spaced 1 inch apart. Use the bottom of a glass to flatten them slightly. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the nuts are browned and the cookies are golden yellow. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat to use all of the dough.
Meanwhile, make the icing, if using: Combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, lemon juice and food coloring until smooth. If using food coloring, divide the icing among separate disposable cups; use the food coloring to tint each portion of icing a different color. Drizzle the icing onto the cookies in decorative patterns. Let set for at least 1 hour before serving or storing.
NOTE: Paste food coloring is thick and creates intense colors. Dip a toothpick in the desired color and stir into a separate small portion of the icing. Add color to achieve the desired hue.
Adapted from "The Everything Cookies & Brownies Cookbook," by Marye Audet (Adams Media, 2009).
Tested by Micki Douglas.
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