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Pistachio chocolate chunk cookies

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These cookies are gooey with perfectly soft and chewy centers, crisp edges, and studded with pistachio and chocolate in every bite.

This recipe was a true labor of love. I lost count of how many rounds this took to get to the right consistency and flavor, and it was so worth it in the end. There are store bought pistachio butters out there but because they are quite pricey and hard to find, I wanted to use a homemade one for this recipe and we finally landed on just the right amount of pistachio for this deliciously nutty and gooey cookie.

The key step that makes this cookie so full of pistachio, is that we include a home roasted and ground up pistachio butter. I don't have a food processor at home but do have this small food chopper from Kitchen Aid and it is perfect for this recipe.

First you'll roast your whole and shelled pistachios, this takes less than 10 minutes. Then, you'll process your roasted pistachios with a little bit of oil until it reaches a creamy consistency. I used lightly salted pistachios, but if yours are unsalted you can also add a pinch of salt during this stage. I loved the process of making the pistachio butter. It takes a few minutes and rounds of scraping the sides of your processor and really is a "trust the process" activity, but it's so worth it in the end once your pistachios begin to blend smoothly.

Once you have your homemade pistachio butter, you'll make your dough. You can absolutely use a hand or stand mixer, but as long as your butter is soft to the touch, I found that using just a spatula worked great. First you'll combine your pistachio butter with tahini (for an added nuttiness) and unsalted butter. From there, the ingredients are just like our standard chocolate chip cookies.

For our mixins, I used a combination of roughly chopped semisweet chocolate, semisweet chips and finely chopped pistachios. For me, I rarely want a big nut chunk in my cookies, I think it can ruin the texture and true dessert experience. I love the addition of the finely chopped pistachios (these can be roasted or unroasted) but of course the size is totally baker's choice.

Once you make your dough, let it chill in the fridge until firm. This can be done for a few hours (I recommend at least 4) or overnight. Just be sure to properly seal your dough - I usually just press plastic wrap onto the top if I'm chilling for a few hours, or for an overnight chill I will transfer my dough from the bowl and wrap it in plastic wrap.

After your dough chills, it's time to scoop and bake. If you did an overnight chill, remove your dough from the fridge about 15 minutes before you plan to scoop. Once you scoop you can bake your dough right away or I'll provide guidance on how to freeze your dough to bake another time. I really believe there's nothing better than a fresh baked cookie, so if you don't plan to enjoy them all within the first day or so, freezing some of the dough is the best option.

It's always important not to overbake our cookies, but it's especially important with this recipe. You should remove the cookies from the oven when they still look almost slightly damp in the center and allow them to cool fully on the cookie sheet for about 20-30 minutes. It's hard to wait but it really will result in the most incredible thick and gooey cookie.

When it comes to measuring out your dough, I love these scoops from Cook'n Feel (I use the medium scoop usually for cookies) or this large scoop from Oxo. You can also use a large spoon, but this cookie dough is a bit wet so a scoop is really helpful for getting more even scoops.


Ground pistachio butter

  • 1 cup whole shelled pistachios 112g

  • 1/2 teaspoon neutral oil (I used olive oil)

  • Pinch salt (if not using salted pistachios)

Cookie dough

  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup, 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 113g

  • 1 tablespoon tahini

  • Homemade ground pistachio butter (about 1/3 cup)

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar 96g

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar 64g

  • 1 large egg*

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour 150g

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate, chopped and chips

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pistachios** 37g

*I recommend taking your egg out of the fridge about 30 minutes prior to starting

**You can roast your extra 1/3 cup of pistachios with your pistachios you'll use to make your ground pistachio butter, or you can simply use unroasted pistachios. Roasting them will give you a more nutty flavor.

Total time: About 6 hours

Prep time: About 30 minutes

Bake time: 10-12 minutes (12-14 from frozen)

Chill time: 4+ hours

Servings: 12 cookies


  • Food chopper or processor

  • Large bowl

  • Spatula or spoon

  • Sharp knife

  • Cookie sheets

  • Parchment paper

  • Scooper (2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons) or large spoon

Cooking instructions:

Start by making your pistachio butter. First, add your pistachios to a lined cookie sheet and roast in the oven at 325 for 5 to 10 minutes. You'll be able to smell when they are done. Note: you can either roast all of the pistachios for the recipe (1 1/3 cup) or just the one cup you'll need to make your pistachio butter - roasting them will give a stronger nutty flavor.

Add a cup of your roasted pistachios to your food chopper or processor and use the puree setting for about 30 seconds. Pause, scrape the sides and bottom and repeat. After 2 more rounds, add in your oil and a pinch of salt if using unsalted pistachios. Continue to process your pistachios, scraping between each 30 second sprint until you've reached a smooth and buttery consistency. It won't be quite as smooth as a store bought nut butter but it shouldn't be too chunky.

Next, make your dough. Into a large bowl, add your homemade pistachio butter (it should be about 1/3 cup), tahini and room temperature unsalted butter. Use a spatula (or you can use a hand/stand mixer if you'd prefer) to combine your ingredients together until completely smooth.

Next, add in both sugars. Continue to mix until your ingredients are fully combined, ensuring there are no streaks of your pistachio butter combination.

Then, add in your egg and vanilla extract. Mix with speed until completely combined and lightened in color - being sure to scrape the sides of your bowl and reaching down to the bottom of your mixture.

Next, add in your dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, and salt. I like to switch to a spatula at this point and mix by hand, folding in your dry ingredients until your dough is about halfway formed.

If you haven't already, use a sharp knife to finely chop your remaining pistachios (1/3 cup). Add the chopped pistachios and your semisweet chocolate to your dough. Fold your chocolate and pistachios in until your dough is fully formed and your mixins are evenly dispersed.

Cover your dough with plastic wrap in the bowl and chill your dough for at least 4 hours. If you plan to chill for longer or overnight, I recommend transferring your dough out of the bowl and into plastic wrap or moving it to an airtight container.

Scoop and bake your dough. When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Remove your dough from the fridge (if you chilled overnight, give it about 15 minutes). Onto lined cookie sheets, I used parchment paper, use a cookie scoop or large spoon to portion out your dough - it should make about 12 cookies, 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons per cookie. Note: if you won't be able to bake until later on, you can freeze your scooped dough at this point (instructions for baking from frozen at the end of the recipe).

Bake your cookies for 10 - 12, removing them from the oven when the centers still look slightly damp. Leave your cookies on the pan out of the oven for about 20 minutes to finish baking and setting, and enjoy!

Additional baking and storage guidance

Your baked cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for a few days at room temperature or in the fridge, but they will taste best fresh baked and enjoyed the same day you made them. Unlike a classic chocolate chip cookie though, the pistachio butter does help these cookies stay soft and taste delicious even a few days after they were baked.

You can also freeze some or all of your dough to bake later. To do this, place your scooped cookie dough onto a baking sheet and into the freezer for 12-24 hours. Then, transfer your frozen dough to a plastic bag or airtight container and store in the freezer. To bake from frozen, set your oven to 325 and bake for about 12-14 minutes. (If you bake within a day or so after freezing, check your cookies at 10 minutes.) Another option, if you leave your frozen dough scoops out to defrost for about 20 minutes, you can bake per the standard instructions.

Carb and serving info:  

Servings: 12 cookies

Carbs per serving (1 of 12): 36

Carbs for full recipe: 434

Carbs from pistachio butter: 32

Carbs from chopped pistachios: 11

Carbs from chocolate: 108

Note: Carb information is calculated based on the specific ingredients I used to cook with to help guide my own insulin to carb ratio when dosing before I eat my home cooked recipes.

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