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Pistachio-Cardamom Icebox Cookies

  • Author: Isabelle Boucher
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 mins
  • Yield: 50 1x


Spice up your Christmas cookie platter with these pretty pistachio-edged icebox cookies. Their Persian-inspired combination of cardamom and saffron is a great change of pace from the usual gingerbread cookies.


  • 2 tbsp boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp saffron, crumbled
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 cup finely chopped pistachios


  1. In a small bowl, combine boiling water and saffron. Set aside to steep for 10 minutes, or until brilliantly orange.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugars on medium speed for 3-5 minutes, or until soft and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla extract and saffron mixture, and beat until combined.
  3. Add flour, salt and cardamom, and mix on low speed just until the dough starts to come together. (The dough might look a little crumbly, but should stick together when pressed into a ball. If the dough is too dry, add some water, 1 tbsp at a time, until it comes together.) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes or until slightly firm.
  4. Transfer the dough to a clean working surface, and shape into a ball. Divide in half, then roll each portion into a 2" thick log. Roll each log in chopped pistachios, ensuring the surface is completely covered, then wrap tightly with wax paper, and tie off the ends. Refrigerate until very firm, at least one hour.
  5. Once the cookies are chilled, preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  6. Using a sharp knife, slice each log into 1/2" thick rounds. Arrange on prepared sheets, spacing the cookies 3/4" apart. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown.
  7. Allow the cookies to cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Preparing in Advance: Cookie dough can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days and then baked as usual, or frozen for up to 2 weeks and then thawed out at room temperature for about 30 minutes (or until it is firm but easily sliceable), before slicing and baking.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Canadian