These sweet and puckery Meyer Lemon Pistachio Sandwich Cookies are kissed with a touch of cardamom to make them even more unique. They're beautiful, tart, and delicious cookies that are perfect for Christmas! Buttery pistachio shortbread cookies filled with Meyer lemon buttercream. They're bright, flavorful and a refreshing break from the usual.
Cookies are the reason for my season.
Any cookie can be a Christmas cookie if it tries hard enough. Who gets to make that decision, anyway?
Oh, right. WE do!
What makes these Meyer Lemon + Pistachio Sandwich Cookies Special?
These cookies are far from a traditional Christmas cookie, and that's exactly what I like about them. Being a sandwich cookie, they are a bit fussier and more time consuming to make than a standard drop-cookie, but that's what makes them so much more fun. Short, chilly days invite cozy baking projects, and the holidays are the perfect time to dive in. You're going to need something to do with all those cookies, and I'm willing to bet you have plenty of parties and friends and festivities that require something sweet.
These cookies are a mood.
What are Meyer Lemons?
Meyer Lemons are a hybrid between lemons and Mandarin oranges. They have a floral flavor and a slight sweetness that is unlike anything else. I've written before that Meyer lemons are like regular lemons written in cursive. There's something fuller, fancier, and more interesting about them. They're wonderful in savory and sweet dishes and can be used anywhere a regular lemon can. Of course, if you can't find Meyer lemons, regular 'ole lemons will work here just as well.
I've fallen madly in love with the pairing of Meyer lemon and cardamom, so I couldn't resist joining them together once again for this recipe. The cardamom brings out the unique floral quality of the Meyer lemon and really makes it sing. It's one of my all time favorite flavor combinations.
How are the Cookies Made?
The outer layer of these cookies is a thin, tender shortbread that's flecked with pistachios. It's simple dough that comes together without any eggs. I call for rolling out the dough and using a cookie cutter to cut out rounds because that's the best way to achieve uniformly thin pieces. That said, if you're not up to the task, you can roll out the dough into a log and slice off rounds instead. It's far less time consuming, but results may vary.
Once the cookies are baked, they must be cooled completely before filling with a sweet, creamy, and tangy filling made by whipping cream cheese with powdered sugar. Both the cookies and filling are scented with warm cardamom and fragrant Meyer lemon zest, along with a reasonable amount of salt to balance out all the sweetness.
I find using a pastry bag is the easiest way to fill the cookies, but you can also use a knife or a spoon. No pastry bag? Just add the filling to a zip-top bag instead and snip off the corner. This makes for a much cleaner process and neater cookies. Pipe the frosting on to one cookie, sandwich it with another, then roll the edges in chopped pistachios for a lovely appearance.
Sandwich cookies are the best kind of cookies because it's like getting a 2-for-1. These delicate little beauties will steal all the attention on the dessert table, and they make a fine gift as well. They have such a uniquely delicious flavor, I hope you give them a try!Print
These sweet and puckery Meyer Lemon and Pistachio Sandwich Cookies are kissed with a touch of cardamom to make them even more unique.
For the Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon juice
- ⅔ cup shelled pistachios, finely chopped, divided
- 2 ½ cups flour
For the Cream Filling
- 8 ounce cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons Meyer lemon zest
- 2 ½ - 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
Make the Cookies
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the salt, cardamom, Meyer lemon zest, and Meyer lemon juice, then beat until incorporated.
- Mix in ⅓ cup pistachios (reserve the rest for rolling), then add the flour and mix on low speed until just incorporated.
- Wrap dough in plastic, then refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line two sheet pans with parchment.
- Roll out dough to about ¼-inch thick (you want the cookies to be fairly thin), then use a round 3-inch cookie cutter to cut out as many cookies as you can. Transfer to sheet pans, leaving about ½ inch between cookies. Reroll and cut dough scraps until you've used it all up.
- Bake cookies for about 15-20 minutes, rotating pans halfway throughout. Remove when they are light golden brown, then let cool completely.
Filling and Assembly
- Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until smooth. Mix in salt, Meyer lemon zest, 2 ½ tablespoons Meyer lemon juice, and cardamom. Taste and add more lemon if you want it tangier. Transfer to a piping bag or a zip-top bag with the corner snipped off (after filling).
- Place the remaining chopped pistachios on a small plate. Pipe about a tablespoon of filling onto the center of a cookie, then place another cookie on top and gently press down to seal. Roll the edges in chopped pistachios, then set aside and repeat with the rest. Let cookies sit without moving for about 1 hour to let the filling harden.
- Cookies will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Keywords: Christmas, cookies, meyer lemon, cardamom, pistachio, sandwich cookies, dessert, edible gift