Salted Chocolate Pistachio Shortbread

With just a few ingredients, you can turn traditional shortbread into this salted chocolate pistachio shortbread! An easy one bowl dessert recipe on

It’s the end of the week and I saved the CHOCOLATE for last.

Happy freakin’ Friday.

With just a few ingredients, you can turn traditional shortbread into this salted chocolate pistachio shortbread! An easy one bowl dessert recipe on

Though can I admit that I’m more excited about the pistachios and buttery shortbread here? They’re the spotlight in these golden triangles. But before we get to all that, a big giant YAY is in order. This is recipe #5 in our 2016 Christmas cookie palooza! We’re halfway through at this point and our ovens haven’t gotten a rest. Butter has been flying out of our refrigerators quicker than you can say holly jolly Christmas. And nothing is slowing down. This is the first weekend of December, so you better have some cookie baking on your to-do list!!

And I highly suggest adding shortbread to your weekend agenda. 4 reasons why:

  1. butter
  2. sugar
  3. flour
  4. salt

Ahh, the good things in life. Ok actually, those 4 items are what make up shortbread– they’re the building blocks. I’m positive you have each of them in your house right now. Go check. I’ll wait. While you’re in there, grab some coffee. We have shortbread to chat about.

How to make shortbread dough on

Basic shortbread is not fussy or complex– rather, it’s quite pure and simple. Buttery and sweet and, in today’s case, crisp and tender. Shortbread is uncluttered and straightforward. It’s delicious. But if you’re the kind of person who can’t leave things alone (hi.), shortbread is your chance to go a little wild. It IS the holiday season, after all. And shortbread is the best blank slate for many different flavors, drizzles, dunks, chunks, and more.

Today’s shortbread begins in our mixing bowls with butter. We’ll cream it and add some sugar. I like a little extra flavor, so I subbed in 1/4 cup of light brown sugar for some of the sugar. I know you’ve got that on hand too. After the butter and sugars are creamed (pictured above), we’ll add vanilla, flour, and salt.

Oh! And I haven’t even mentioned the best part of all yet: this is all made in ONE BOWL. And NO CHILLING. A truly effortless recipe. Respect, shortbread. Respect.

Diamond of California pistachios

Actually, the best best part about all this are the Diamond of California pistachios. They get all toasty inside the dough when it bakes! Combined with buttery vanilla shortbread, salt, and chocolate? Holly jolly Christmas indeed.

We’ll chop them up real fine before adding to the shortbread dough– and a food processor immensely helps with this step.

How to make shortbread dough on

The shortbread dough is crumbly. But don’t fret, that’s what you want. Press it into two lined 9-inch cake pans. We’ll cut the baked shortbread into wedges like a pizza.

A… butter pizza.

Pistachio shortbread on

Absolutely nothing compares to the distinct smell of shortbread baking.

Now this is the holidays, people!

With just a few ingredients, you can turn traditional shortbread into this salted chocolate pistachio shortbread! An easy one bowl dessert recipe on

We’ll dress up the shortbread with melted chocolate, more Diamond of California chopped pistachios ♥ and a sprinkle of sea salt. So let’s really think about what you’ll get in just one of these shortbread wedges:

  1. buttery and sweet
  2. a little brown sugar and vanilla
  3. toasty pistachios
  4. crunchy sea salt
  5. a whole mess of chocolate

Shortbread upgrade.

With just a few ingredients, you can turn traditional shortbread into this salted chocolate pistachio shortbread! An easy one bowl dessert recipe on

Weekend upgrade.

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Salted Chocolate Pistachio Shortbread

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


With just a few ingredients, you can turn traditional shortbread into this salted chocolate pistachio shortbread. An easy one bowl dessert recipe!


  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and 1/4 (280g) cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 cup (100g) finely chopped pistachios, divided*
  • 8 ounces (226g) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • optional: sea salt for sprinkling on top


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper leaving enough overhang around the sides to easily lift shortbread out. (Parchment is used so you can easily remove the shortbread and not cut it while it’s in the pan.)
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat together until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla, salt, and flour and beat on low speed, gradually increasing to high speed as the mixture combines. Add 2/3 cup of the finely chopped pistachios, reserving the rest for sprinkling on top of the chocolate. Dough will be very crumbly.
  3. Press 1/2 of the dough into each of the prepared cake pans. You want it nice and compact in each pan.
  4. Bake the shortbread for 30 minutes or until lightly browned on top and around the edges.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the shortbread from the pans by picking it up with the parchment paper on the sides. Cut each into 12 wedges. You want to make sure you cut the shortbread while it’s still warm. Allow to cool completely on the parchment before dipping into chocolate.
  6. Melt the chopped chocolate in the microwave in 20 second increments, stopping and stirring after each until completely smooth. Dip the shortbread ends into chocolate and sprinkle with remaining chopped pistachios and sea salt. Allow chocolate to completely set.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Shortbread stays fresh covered at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can make the shortbread dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 3. Baked shortbread freezes well for up to 3 months. Unbaked shortbread dough freezes well for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before continuing with step 3.
  2. Special Tools: Ninja Blender | Cuisinart Food Processor | KitchenAid Stand Mixer | 5-qt Tilt Head Glass Measuring Bowl | Flex Edge Beater | Pyrex Glass Measuring CupCake Pans
  3. Chopped Pistachios: I suggest a food processor to grind up those pistachios nice and fine. I used my Ninja (love this!).

Keywords: pistachio shortbread, shortbread

See all cookie palooza recipes.


Buttery, tender, and easy 1 BOWL shortbread with pistachios, sea salt, and chocolate! Recipe on
Buttery, tender, and easy 1 BOWL shortbread with pistachios, sea salt, and chocolate! Recipe on


  1. Wow Sally!!! Thanks for all this cookie palooza week! 🙂 I’ve enjoined each recipe, reading, imagining and tasting ititon on mind… I loved your pie week, and I’m in love with your baking marathons! 🙂

    1. Glad you’re loving it! Let me know any recipes you try out.

  2. Ooo, these look delish. Will have to try them out. I might change pistachios to almonds though, since I don’t like them much.

    1. Almonds work just as well! Same amount.

    2. I made em with almonds cause i didnt have pistachios on hand. I added a 1/4tsp of almond extract, and toasted slightly the crushed almonds i used to put on the chocolate dipp and they are delicous! 

  3. These look easy and delicious. I love pistachios, I feel they are definitely underused in the baking world. I have had the hardest time finding a recipe for pistachio muffins (without the pudding mix.) Adding that chocolate I know must make them that much harder to stop at just one! I am definitely going to have give these a try. I always have great success with your cookie recipes, So I know they will be awesome.

    1. Thanks Courtney! Let me know if you try this shortbread. And I agree about pistachios being underused!

  4. Patricia @Sweet and Strong says:

    Another cookie I’ve never made, shortbread!  I really need to get on this and start some holiday baking this weekend!

  5. Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It says:

    I’ve always been intimidated by shortbread cookie-making, but maybe that’s because I thought the dough wasn’t supposed to be crumbly…in my defense, I was 10 years old. 😉 Ready to give shortbread another go!! 🙂

    1. Crumbly dough is good! Especially since we are not rolling out this shortbread. Rather, pressing it into a pan. And the warmth of your hands pressing the dough down will help it stick together.

  6. These look amazing! I can’t wait to make these!

  7. This looks amazing! I’d like to cut them into squares though! The chocolate… the pistachios… YES. Maybe throw in some white chocolate chips to the batter? 🙂

    1. White chips in the dough would be incredible. Especially paired with the sea salt and pistachios!

  8. Tori// says:

    Sally, these look fantabulicious (yes, I made up this word)!!!! What a perfect holiday treat to make this season!

  9. Michelle @ Brown Butter and Biscuits says:

    They sound delicious! And I love that they’re made in one bowl with no chilling!! Perfect unique addition to a holiday cookie platter 🙂

  10. These sound delicious and look perfect for dunking in hot drinks!

    Rachael xx.

  11. Love a recipe for some less traditional “triangle cookies.” Would be interesting to cover the cookies in some red and green sprinkles after being coated with the chocolate for an even more Christmas-y cookie! I’m starting my own Christmas baking this weekend, and I can’t decide which cookie recipes to make – do I go with my same favourites from last year, try something new, or what? 1 of the recipes I make for sure, however, will be from your site or cookbook 😀

    1. I say try something new! Did you bake any yet?

      1. I ended up making your brown sugar cookies (for about the hundredth time!) rolled in cinnamon-sugar, but I also tried your cut-out chocolate sugar cookies for the first time and made them into gingerbread-men shaped & stocking shaped. Everyone loved them both 🙂 – Christmas prep success!

  12. Sally, could I freeze these after dipping them in chocolate?  Or would it be better to freeze the baked shortbread and then dip in chocolate after thawing.  Thank you.

    1. It’s best to freeze BEFORE dipping in chocolate. It would be *fine* after dipping, but the chocolate looks/taste best when it hasn’t been frozen and thawed.

  13. Andrea @ Cooking with a Wallflower says:

    These shortbread cookies look so gorgeous, Sally. And I love that they’re triangle in shape. So much easier to dip in chocolate. I love pistachio so I can’t wait to try these! They’ll be perfect for gift giving too!

    1. Thanks Andrea! <3

  14. Definitely adding this one to my list to bake Just took the GingerSnaps out of the oven I couldn’t wait had to have 1 before the cooled DELISH I have to say !! Keep’em coming Sally 

    1. Gingersnaps… favorite!

  15. You had me at shortbread.

    Are the pistachios raw?

    Seriously….I had no brown sugar last weekend. I looked up how to make brown sugar and made my own…it was pretty darn good. But I added brown sugar to the shopping list. 🙂

    You know….someone above commented about using almonds….I’ll bet putting in almonds, dipping in white chocolate and maybe some chopped dried cherries on top? Mmmmm….

    1. Hey Christine! The pistachios are raw, yes. But you can use roasted or any kind really. I do prefer the raw ones here.

      The almond/dried cherry/white chocolate version sounds unbelievable. TRYING IT!

  16. Hi ,
    I want to know that 10 minutes backing is enough to cook them properly inside.
    Finally what kind of texture should be inside to make sure wether they are cooked or not properly.

    1. Hi! They take about 30 minutes in the oven 🙂 10 wouldn’t be nearly enough! They will be a little tender not he inside with crisp/crumbly edges.

  17. When you melt the choc chips, do you ever add coconut oil or a bit of shortening so that the chocolate will stay “shiny” once it cools??  I seem to have issues with the chocolate getting dull looking and not as attractive as when they are first dipped!  Thanks

    1. Hi Sally! I don’t like to melt chocolate chips– use pure chocolate instead. You’ll notice a huge difference. No need for an oil. I use Bakers or Ghirardelli baking bars (found in the baking aisle and sold in 4 ounce bars).

  18. Yum! These look so good!

    Did I miss where the winners of the cookbooks were announced?

    1. Hi Jill! Just yesterday I emailed all the winners and announced them on the giveaway post. I was a couple days late! But I do have a new giveaway happening right now for a KitchenAid Stand Mixer!!

  19. These look so amazing. Extra chocolate always, please 🙂
    I have a question about the shortbread though- why does it NOT need to be chilled?
    Photos are beautiful, as always.

    1. Hi Grace! Since we are baking the shortbread in cake pans, it doesn’t have room to spread all over. And that’s essentially why we chill cookie dough– to prevent excess spreading in the oven. So a cake pan keeps things in place!

  20. What a fun alternative to traditional cookies! I love the triangle shape!

  21. Rachel S. (sprinkle lover) says:

    Growing up Lorna Doone cookies were my favorite & my husbands too!! Your recipe is a more grown-up, fun, yummy version!! Definitely on my list for weekend baking!! Who knew shortbread is so easy to make?!

    1. It’s shockingly simple.

  22. Jessica @ Citrus Blossom Bliss says:

    It’s like you knew we bought the Costco sized bag of pistachios last night or something! Shortbread is so underrated but it happens to be one of my favorite cookie types 🙂 this recipe looks absolutely stellar!

    1. It’s cookie fate!

  23. Sara @ Last Night's Feast says:

    How funny, I was just thinking about making shortbread a few minutes ago! These look absolutely delightful, Sally =)

    1. If you try it, let me know!

  24. So this is amazing. I got the idea in my head this afternoon to make chocolate dipped shortbread cookies, so I googled a “chocolate shortbread Sally’s baking” because I always look here first, and lo &I behold, you posted one TODAY!! my girls are shelling pistachios as we speak! 

    1. Seriously that is so crazy…!? Haha!

  25. I actually wanted to make shortbread for a birthday gift two days ago and wondered if you had a recipe since I’ve never made it before.  Thanks for this timely recipe! 

  26. Sally! What about a recipe for BROWNED BUTTER shortbread cookies?! You changed my (baking) world view with your browned butter chocolate chip cookies and now I have an unrelenting desire to have all browned butter baked goods. 

    Much love for ALL your hard work and wonderful recipes ❤️

    1. omg yes! But it will take a couple extra steps because you need CREAMED butter in this shortbread So… brown the butter, then let it chill in the refrigerator. Then bring it back to room temperature (still solid, of course) and proceed with the recipe. Let me know how it goes!

  27. Could make this with carmel instead of chocolate ? I can’t have chocolate

    1. You could certainly drizzle caramel on top of the shortbread, yes!

  28. Blogtastic Food says:

    Ooo yum, a simple twist but a great one (:

  29. Hey Sally! Looks amazing 🙂 Are these chewy shortbread cookies or the more “Walkers” style one that are crispy?

    1. They aren’t chewy– just crisp and crumbly on the edges and a little tender on the inside. 🙂 Not as crunchy as Walkers though!

  30. Wow, these look great! 🙂

    Quick question… As I continue to bake up a storm for the upcoming Christmas season, I was going to bake your Peppermint Mocha Cookies dipped in white chocolate, and I was wondering if perhaps instead of using instant coffee one could use regular coffee grounds? Or would that wreck the cookies? Thanks!

    1. Ground roasted coffee beans would be an OK sub! But I promise, espresso powder is worth it! Or a dark instant coffee too.

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