Follow/Be a Fan


Honeymoon Ravioli

Nutella Bread for Dessert or for Breakfast!


Learn to Make Fresh Pasta (with a video!)

Easy Italian Pulled Pork

I love to sew - come on over and see what I'm making!

Make Homemade Limoncello


Harvest Grape Bread

Tips for Homemade Marinara Sauce

Breakfast Fruit Walkaway is a family favorite

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Love knitting? Come read my knitting blog, Italian Dish Knits.

A Delicious Vegetarian Dish: Pasta alla Norma

Eating Our Way Through the Amalfi Coast

Make Whipped Cream Firm

My Favorite Chocolate Cake Recipe

SUBSCRIBE for free and never miss a post:



or Use Key Words to Search this Site

Lemon Cake from Capri

Cacio e Pepe

Eggplant Lasagna

 Thanks, Mom!


Learn to Make Arancini


Bucatini all' Amatraciana

Learn How to Make Artisan Bread with no Kneading for Pennies


Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits Require No Baking

Make Pie Dough in 60 Seconds!

Make Your Own Vanilla Extract


Spicy Bucatini all'Amatriciana - a Roman Classic

My Mom's Pork Chops

Chocolate Panna Cotta


My Five Inexpensive Kitchen Essentials

Beet Ravioli with Goat Cheese

« Stuffed Zucchini | Main | Caramel Cake - Daring Baker's November Challenge »

Pistachio Cookies and Vetri

Here is a great little cookie to make for the holidays. It only has 4 ingredients, it contains no flour and it's from one of the best Italian restaurants in the country.   What's not to like?   This delicious cookie is what Marc Vetri serves at Vetri, his famous Philadelphia restaurant.  Vetri was named one of the top 50 restaurants by Gourmet magazine, Mario Batali sings its praises and Frank Bruni says Vetri ranks up there with the best New York Italian restaurants.   On the menu is a quote by da Vinci:  "Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication."   If this is true, then this cookie is ultra sophisticated!

If you want to read all about Marc Vetri and his wonderful restaurant, check out his new cookbook,  "Il Viaggio de Vetri: A Culinary Journey".     This book is not just a compilation of recipes he uses at the restaurant,  but the story of his journey to Italy to learn how to cook authentic Italian food.

Pistachio Cookies 


for a printer friendly recipe, click here

Makes about 50 cookies


  • ¾ cup (4 ounces) pistachio nuts (raw, unsalted), plus 50 nuts for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ⅔ cup almond flour
  • 1 ½ large eggs

(To ensure the correct egg measure, beat 1 large egg, measure it, and then add exactly half of it to the cookie dough along with the second whole egg.)


In a small processor, combine the ¾ cup pistachios with 2 tablespoons of the sugar and pulse until finely ground. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and add the flour and the remaining 1 cup sugar. Mix on low speed to combine. On medium speed, add the eggs, mixing until incorporated.   Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 8 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper (or use a Silpat). Scoop up spoonfuls of the dough and roll between your palms into little balls about ¾ inch in diameter.  Arrange on the prepared sheet pans, spacing them about 1 inch apart.  You should have 50 balls.   Press a pistachio into the top of each ball, flattening the dough slightly.

Bake the cookies, rotating the pans back to front at the halfway point to ensure even baking, for 10 to 12 minutes or until they spread slightly and are lightly browned on the edges.   Let cool on the pans on racks for 5 minutes and then transfer to the racks to cool completely.

The cookie dough can be made up to 2 weeks ahead (how great is that?), covered, and refrigerated. The baked cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Serve with Amaretto on the rocks or an espresso. Perfetto!

Tip:   When you make the dough, it will seem awfully sticky and a bit thin.  Don't worry about it.   After it's been refrigerated, it's very easy to work with.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (26)

Those look amazing. Wow...I love Pistachios and Amaretto.

December 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWhitney

Amo la fotografia mama.

Baci, Barry

December 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBMac

Oh I'm making these for sure!!!
I've never seen anything like this.
I wish I had some pistachio's right now, darn it!

December 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterProud Italian Cook

can i just double the recipe and use 3 eggs? that half egg would make me crazy...

and ok ok, i'll get the book
(of course)

December 7, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercook eat FRET

These look beautiful. Four ingredients? Love that.

December 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRecipeGirl

mmm...these cookies look yummy. Check out my cookies list and a giveaway at

December 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKatie Barlow

Those cookies look good!

December 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

I wish I could try Vetri for myself but in the meantime I will make these cookies. I love pistachios, they are my absolute favorite and I can't wait to make these.

December 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterManger La Ville

Cannot wait to try these! they look amazing - no green food color necessary!

December 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBrooklyn Farmhouse

That just looks like a big mouth full of yum!

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered

Very very nice :)

December 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMaryann


You have outdone yourself with this recipe. Looks divinely delicious. For a non-baker like me, a perfect holiday dessert.

Buona Festa!
Bella Alisa

December 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlisa Barry

On our Philadelphia weekend trip we tried VETRI as per Frank Bruni's recommendation, and it was as good, if not BETTER than our NYC restaurants!
Lovely cookies!
Stacey Snacks

December 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterStacey Snacks

I never really liked pistachio recipes/gelato growing up.... but in the last few years I'm really coming around.

December 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjoe@italyville

I made these cookies last night. The ingredients are pricey but they are very delicous and worth it for a special occassion.

My first batch didn't spread very well. I think my fridge might be too cold. I'm going to try letting the balls sit out on the cookie sheet and come to room temperature before putting them in the oven. Thanks for the great recipe, we'll be enjoying these every Christmas now!

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMandy

These look delicious - they would be perfect with a hot cup of chai. I have a lot of pistachios left over from the holidays and am going to try you think I can make them w/o a mixer - i.e. mixing with a hand whisker/hands? My baking skills haven't quite elevated me to buying a mixer...

January 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenternithya at hungry desi

I should add that I'm just about ready to commit to the Kitchen Aid mixer and after reading your How to Make Fresh Pasta post think I'm sold given reviews I've been hearing about the pasta attachment that can be purchased for it. Thanks!!

January 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenternithya at hungry desi

I have to confess that Vetri is on my "Restaurants I MUST try" list and have made a mental note for my next Philly trip. Also, this book is fabulous - it's one of my faves! Great post!

January 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLys

This Pistachio Cookies looks so beautiful with the colors, I'm sure it'll be a big hit with the kids! Nice colors! Although I'm to a big fan of Pistachio Cookies, this sure looks yummy! I'm normally the one that will say no to Pistachio Cookies.

February 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMax mickle

Oh my these look great, i just discovered your blog and i have already printed some of your recipes to try. I would really love to make these for my mom but she is diabetic do you think i can replace the sugar with splenda?

August 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMy Geisha

From The Italian Dish:

My Geisha: I have not tried to bake cookies with Splenda. I see in the stores that there is a Splenda for baking - that might be worth a try. Good luck and let me know if you try it and how it works!

August 10, 2010 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

I could not find unsalted pistachios, so I used salted. Havent baked them yet, my dough is chilling? do you think they will be okay? Anything I should add to counteract the salt?


December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDina Cirino

From The Italian Dish:

Dina: I also have a hard time finding unsalted pistachios - I usually have to go to one of the health food stores in town and they always have them. There's nothing else you can do to the dough. The cookies will be alright - just a little different taste.

December 18, 2011 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

thanks for this one I used to have my grandmothers recipe like this I am trying this one I don't want to use that gree jello crap recipe that's floating around ,I stick to authentic cookies not crap and spend alot of money on Christmas cookie trays

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarlo

I make a similar basic recipe but it is orange-flavored - thank you for the “pistachio” spin! I love pistachio and cannot wait to try this.

October 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGiovanna

Very delicious cookie. My cookies would not spread out. So about 8 minutes into cooking them, I pressed down with my fingers to give them some help spreading out. It took about 15 minutes to cook. I used Morena pure cane sugar for the first time. Maybe it was the sugar. I will try a different sugar next time. Would make again. Thanks for the recipe.

December 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJim U

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>