This recipe comes from Özlem Warren's book Sebze: Vegetarian Recipes from My Turkish Kitchen (£28, Hardie Grant). Photography: Sam A Harris. Recipes are sent by the publisher and not retested by us.

Özlem says: "My mother would make them for her afternoon tea gatherings and special occasions when I was a child, and now my children adore these, too. You will find them in Turkish pastanes (patisseries), either plain or with nuts or dried fruits."

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Fistikli un kurabiyesi (pistachio shortbread cookies) recipe


  • 90g unsalted shelled pistachios, plus extra to serve
  • 300g plain flour
  • 125g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 250g unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • STEP 1

    Coarsely chop or grind the pistachios with a few pulses in a food processor.

  • STEP 2

    Sift the flour into a large bowl. Sift the sugar into a separate bowl.

  • STEP 3

    Put the butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat using an electric whisk for 2 mins until smooth and light. Stir in the sugar and beat for another 2 mins until well combined. Add the flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt and vanilla extract, and beat for another 2 mins, making sure everything is combined well. Stir in the pistachios and beat for another minute or two until it forms a crumbly dough. Using your hands, gently form into a dough ball, put in a bowl, cover and chill for 15 mins.

  • STEP 4

    Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper. Gently shape the dough into walnut-sized balls with your hands – you should have 25 balls. Put on the baking sheet with about 5cm between each ball.

  • STEP 5

    Bake on the lower shelf of the oven for 18-20 mins or until the cookies are pale golden – try not to overbake so that they can retain their crumbly texture and light colour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely. Sift over some icing sugar and sprinkle with a little extra ground pistachio to serve.

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