saffron glazed pistachio shortbread

Saffron Glazed Pistachio Shortbread

  • Yield: ~24


Very loosely adapted from Smitten Kitchen Everyday by Deb Perelman




  • 1.5 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped white chocolate
  • 1/4 cup chopped shelled/unsalted pistachios
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp. orange blossom water (optional)


  • a pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1Tbsp. hot water
  • 5 Tbsp. icing sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until a crumbly mixture is formed. Make sure that all dry ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Empty the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper and collect the crumbs with your hands to form a smooth ball.
  5. Place another piece of parchment paper on top and roll the ball out into a large slab about 8-9 inches in diameter.
  6. Remove the top sheet and transfer the bottom parchment sheet with the large cookie onto a cookie sheet and into the oven.
  7. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until just starting to turn golden around the edges.
  8. While the shortbread bakes, make the glaze.
  9. Add a pinch of saffron to the hot water and let it stand for about 5 minutes.
  10. Add the bright yellow saffron water, along with the threads, to the icing sugar and stir to form a runny glaze. Adjust the consistency with more water or icing sugar, if necessary.
  11. Remove the shortbread from the oven and transfer to a cutting board (with the parchment paper) and cut into 1.5″ squares while hot, gently pressing a large sharp chef’s knife into the soft dough. Let the cookie cool.
  12. Place a cooling rack/grid over a piece of parchment paper (you can reuse the one you had on top of the dough), separate the squares, and place them on top of the rack.
  13. Use a small whisk to splash the cookies with glaze for the ‘crazy painter’ look. If you want something more composed, you can use a piping bag with a small round tip (or a ziplock bag with a corner cut off) to drizzle the cookies.
  14. Let the glaze set before serving.