Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies

Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies
Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies ~ Blue Eyed Soul Food

This is a recipe that has been in my family for many, many years. I have been making them, upon requests and because my friends insist on them, every Christmas for the past few years. I make them and give them as gifts at Christmas, with other cookies, but these outshine all of the others!

I made them for a Chamber of Commerce event that took place last year and have been asked to make them for a “Cookie Tour” this year. They’re getting more & more popular!

They are unlike any other cookie you’ve ever had. Addictive. Crumbly. Soft. A flavor that will have you coming back for more… and more!

I figured it was time to share the recipe. Share the love. Make them and take credit for their deliciousness!!! You and your friends and family will thank me 🙂

Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies

There are a few steps to these cookies, but it’s worth it. You have to make the cookies, the filling and the chocolate drizzle. The cookies themselves have a couple of steps, too. You have to make the cookie dough. Roll them in nuts and put the thumbprint/well/indent in them. It’s a lot easier than it sounds. I just want you to know what you’re getting into so that you are well prepared. It’s easy. It gets easier the more you make them, too! I’ve figured out shortcuts along the way and this is how I make them…

Preheat oven to 350 degrees while prepping dough

Yields: 20 – 24 Cookies


Cookie Dough:
1/3 c. powdered sugar
1 c. butter ( softened )
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant pistachio pudding mix
1 egg
2 c. flour
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

1 1/4 c. walnuts, finely chopped ( set aside )

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. butter ( melted & cooled )
1 tsp. vanilla
1 to 3 Tbsp. milk
optional: red food coloring – just a couple of drops to make the filling pink

1/2 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. shortening


I use my Kitchen Aid mixer for this, with the paddle attachment.

1) Beat powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract, pudding mix and egg on medium speed until well combined. Lower the speed to low. Add flour, a little bit at a time, while continuing to beat on low speed. Add the mini chocolate chips until combined.

2) Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

3) Use a small cookie scoop (1.5″) to measure the dough evenly and you should yield 20-24 cookies in one batch. You can fit 20-24 cookies on a cookie sheet. I like to get all of the cookies onto the cookie sheets before moving on to the next step.

Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies

For some reason I have the sudden urge for
a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream…

4) Put the walnuts on a plate. Roll each cookie into a ball in the palm of your hands, I usually do 4 at a time, then roll them in the walnuts to evenly cover. Shake off any excess nuts. Put back onto the cookie sheets, then move on to the “thumbprint” part of this assembly.

5) Using your thumb, or a wider wood spoon handle, press down slightly and make a small imprint or well in the center of each cookie. If the sides crack at all, just lightly press the sides in.

Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies

6) Bake 11-12 minutes. Until VERY light golden brown. Let them sit on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack. The cookies need to cool completely before adding the filling.

7) Combine all of the filling ingredients: Start with 1 Tbsp of milk and stir. If it’s too thick add another Tbsp. You want it to be the consistency of a smooth frosting. If you make it too thin, just add more powdered sugar. Add red food coloring if you want to make the filling pink. *I’ve been known to add a dash of almond extract into the filling to give it a little more oomph!

8) Spoon scant teaspoon fulls of filling into the center of each cookie. I use a pastry bag with a star tip when I want to be fancy 🙂

Pistachio Thumbprint Cookes

9) Melt the chocolate and shortening. I use a glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring every 20 seconds until melted & smooth.

10) Drizzle chocolate over the cookies and let the chocolate set up a bit. You can use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate *or* as soon as the chocolate is melted completely pour into a plastic baggie, get the air out, seal it and snip the very tip of one corner.

Let the chocolate set up for at least 10 minutes, if you can 🙂

Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies

Another variation would be to make these without the chopped walnuts. You could even just make the pistachio cookie dough, flatten them out just a bit on the cookie sheet before baking.

The chocolate drizzle is not optional, it is a must! Just sayin’

Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies without Walnuts
Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies without Walnuts



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