My chocolate-dipped pistachio cookies are crunchy, tender, salty, nutty, and perfectly spiced with cardamom and lime zest. These delightful gluten-free cookies are perfect for homemade holiday gifts!

A closeup of chocolate dipped pistachio cookies on a white plate.

A sneak peek recipe from Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! Cookbook

Our latest cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go!, shares some of the best desserts I’ve ever created, including the Pistachio Cardamom Cookies on page 314. These Persian-inspired tea cookies combine the flavor of salty pistachios, aromatic cardamom, and fragrant lime zest into an irresistible bite. They’re a crowd favorite and perfect for DIY holiday gifting because these treats are sturdy enough to be packed and shipped. No one will guess that they’re paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, and low carb!

Bonus: because I love you Nomsters so much, I’m sharing the recipe here with an added chocolate twist! (Of course, if you hate chocolate, just don’t dip ’em. Also, HOW CAN YOU HATE CHOCOLATE?)

A smiling Asian woman holding a plate of chocolate dipped pistachio cookies.

And it goes without saying that if you love this recipe, you’ll love all the recipes in our green book. I love all my cookbooks, but Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! is truly my favorite one to date and it makes a fabulous gift for your pals! Buy our cookbook wherever books are sold!

Two hands holding a copy of the Nom Nom Paleo: Let's Go! cookbook by Michelle Tam and Henry Fong

Tips on how to make these slice and bake pistachio cookies

  • Measure out the dry ingredients on a kitchen scale. Treat baking like a science experiment. You’ll get perfect results if you measure the ingredients accurately on a kitchen scale. The printed recipe card on the bottom always has weight measurements for my baking recipes—just hit the metric button under the ingredients.
  • Use salted and roasted pistachios. The combination of salty and sweet is what makes these cookies so delicious!
  • Chill the dough before slicing the cookies. This way the cookies won’t spread when you bake them. Plus, you can make the dough ahead of time and bake to order!
  • Don’t leave out the cardamom and lime zest! The exotic and compelling flavors of this simple cookie are due to the fragrant cardamom and fresh lime zest.

Ingredients

An overhead shot of the ingredients to make paleo pistachio cookies.
  • Almond flour
  • Tapioca flour/starch: Adds lightness and crunch to the cookie texture. In a pinch, arrowroot powder will work as a substitute.
  • Roasted, salted, and shelled pistachios: Buy shelled salted and roasted pistachios to make it easier on yourself. I love the interplay of salty nuts and sweetness in this cookie! (Not a fan of pistachios? You can use pecans or hazelnuts instead.)
  • Maple sugar or coconut sugar: To replace the granulated sugar in a traditional slice and bake cookie recipe, I use maple sugar or coconut sugar. If you’re keto, feel free to use Swerve granular sweetener.
  • Refined coconut oil: In place of butter, I use softened refined coconut oil in this recipe. Unlike the unrefined variety, refined coconut oil won’t impart a strong coconut flavor. The coconut oil should be softened for this recipe, but not liquid. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can use palm shortening or ghee.
  • Egg: The egg gives the cookie structure and richness. It also acts as the leavening agent so no need for baking soda or baking powder. As a result, I don’t think an egg substitute will work in this recipe.
  • Ground cardamom: Adds a citrus-y and earthy flavor. If you don’t like cardamom, you can substitute a combination of ginger, cloves, and cinnamon or a splash of vanilla extract or almond extract.
  • Lime zest: Imparts a hint of fresh citrus to the cookies. Feel free to use lemon zest or orange zest if you prefer.
  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt or sea salt
  • Dark chocolate (optional): Pick your favorite chocolate bar (70 to 85% cacao)! I like Green and Black, Guittard, and Hu Kitchen bars.

Instructions for pistachio cookies

Plop the maple sugar and softened coconut oil into a large bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until the coconut oil is incorporated.

Closeup showing a hand mixer combining maple sugar with softened coconut oil.

Add the egg and lime zest. Beat until well combined and set it aside.

An overhead shot of a hand mixer mixing the wet ingredients for paleo pistachio cookies.

In a separate bowl, whisk the almond flour, tapioca flour/starch, cardamom, and salt together. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients.

Pouring the whisked dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients to make paleo pistachio cookies.

Using a spatula or wooden spoon, mix until a dough is formed.

A black silicone spatula has mixed the raw cookie dough together.

Dump in the pistachios and work them into the cookie dough.

Raw cookie dough in a bowl with finely chopped pistachios mixed in.

Divide the dough into 2 balls of the same size. Roll the dough balls into 2 logs that are approximately 8 inches long and 1½ inches in diameter.

Raw pistachio cookie dough rolled into a log.

Wrap the logs in parchment paper or plastic wrap. Chill ’em for at least 1 hour or until solidified. (You can refrigerate the cookie dough logs for up to 4 days or freeze them for 4 months.)

Four shots that show someone wrapping up raw cookie dough logs in unbleached parchment paper.

Ready to start baking? Heat the oven to 350°F with the racks set in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Using a sharp knife, cut each chilled log into 12 cookies, about ½-inch in width. (Tip: cut each log into fourths, and then into thirds.)

Slicing a pistachio cookie dough log into half inch slices.

Evenly arrange the cookies about 1 to 2 inches apart on the 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

A hand is arranging unbaked paleo pistachio cookies on two parchment lined baking sheets.

Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, swapping and rotating the trays at the halfway point, or until the edges are golden brown.

Placing a second tray of pistachio cookies into an open oven.

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Two hands holding a wire cooling rack topped with freshly baked pistachio cookies.

These cookies are delicious without chocolate if you don’t want to dip them!

A hand holding a paleo pistachio cookie with golden brown edges.

How to make chocolate dipped cookies

While the cookies are cooling, prepare the chocolate. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the chocolate into small shards on the diagonal. Melt the chocolate in a glass mixing bowl in the microwave by zapping it on high for 30 seconds and stirring well to evenly distribute the heat. Repeat and stir until smooth. If the chocolate’s not totally melted after a minute, repeat in 15 second increments. Be careful not to overheat it!

Three process shots that show finely chopped dark chocolate being melted in a bowl in the microwave.

Place another piece of parchment paper on a cooled cookie sheet or rimmed baking sheet. When the cookies are completely cooled, dip half of each cookie in the chocolate.

A hand is dunking a pistachio cookie into a bowl filled with melted chocolate.

Place the dipped cookies on the parchment lined sheet. Repeat until finished.

A hand is placing a chocolate dipped cookie onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

You can leave the cookies in a cool spot for the chocolate to harden or place the tray in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

A closeup of a plate of chocolate dipped pistachio cookies.

How to store pistachio cookies

Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to a week at room temperature or in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. I like to throw in a desiccant packet to keep the cookies crisp!


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).


PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Chocolate-Dipped Pistachio Cookies (Gluten Free, Paleo)

4.85 from 13 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Chilling and cooling time2 hours
Servings 24 cookies
My chocolate-dipped pistachio cookies are crunchy, tender, salty, nutty, and perfectly spiced with cardamom and lime zest. These delightful gluten-free cookies are perfect for homemade holiday gifts!

Ingredients 
 

  • ¾ cup maple sugar or coconut sugar
  • cup refined coconut oil softened at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 2 cups finely ground almond flour
  • cup tapioca starch
  • teaspoons ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt 
  • ½ cup  roasted, salted, and shelled pistachios finely chopped
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate bar 70% cacao or higher
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Instructions 

  • Plop the maple sugar and softened coconut oil into a large bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until the coconut oil is incorporated.
  • Add the egg and lime zest. Beat until well combined and set it aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the almond flour, tapioca starch, cardamom, and salt together. 
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, mix until a dough is formed.
  • Dump in the pistachios and work them into the cookie dough.
  • Divide the dough into 2 balls of the same size. Roll the dough balls into 2 logs that are approximately 8 inches long and 1½ inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in parchment paper or plastic wrap. Chill ‘em for at least 1 hour or until solidified. (You can refrigerate the cookie dough logs for up to 4 days or freeze them for 4 months.)
  • Ready to start baking? Heat the oven to 350°F with the racks set in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. 
  • Using a sharp knife, cut each chilled log into 12 cookies, about ½-inch in width. (Tip: cut each log into fourths, and then into thirds.) Evenly arrange the cookies about 1 to 2 inches apart on the 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, swapping and rotating the trays at the halfway point, or until the edges are golden brown. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Want to dip them in chocolate? While the cookies are cooling, prepare the chocolate. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the chocolate into small shards on the diagonal. Melt the chocolate in a glass mixing bowl in the microwave by zapping it on high for 30 seconds, and stirring well to evenly distribute the heat. Repeat and stir until smooth. If the chocolate’s not totally melted after a minute, repeat in 15 second increments. Be careful not to overheat it!
  • Place another piece of parchment paper on a cooled cookie sheet or rimmed baking sheet. When the cookies are completely cooled, dip half of each cookie in the chocolate. Place the cookie on the parchment lined sheet. Repeat until finished.
  • You can leave the cookies in a cool spot for the chocolate to harden or place the tray in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Video

Notes

Storage tips:
Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to a week at room temperature or in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. I like to throw in a desiccant packet to keep the cookies crisp!
Make ahead tips:
You can refrigerate the cookie dough logs for up to 4 days or freeze them for 4 months. Then, slice and bake on demand!

Nutrition

Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 28mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 22IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These are the perfect holiday treat! I’ll be bringing them to our family dinner, but I’m not telling that they are paleo!

  2. 5 stars
    I am not a baker. At all. But, I was really inspired by this recipe and the little cookies turned out as fun and delish as I hoped, even without the chocolate. I have already gifted the neighbors and received A+ reviews.