Monday, 18 May 2015

Pistachio & Limoncello Cookies - The Ultimate Party Ring

pistachio and limoncello cookies

Our WH Smith’s in Dundee is closing – no idea why. It will leave the city with only two small Smith’s outlets – one in a hospital, the other in the railway station.

Anyway, they are having a clearance sale and I picked up a few cookbooks – as is my want. I came across one book, by a famous TV chef and saw a recipe for these cookies and decided, as they are Italian, that they would be a perfect entry into my Treat Petite Challenge this month. The theme is Eurovision countries and any petite treat from a participating country is permitted.

Italy didn’t participate in the Eurovision Song Contest for many a year, but did return a few years back – much to my delight. My friend Ewan always has a Eurovision party and we have to take food and drink from a participating country – Italy was always a big miss on the table!

pistachio and limoncello cookies

So these cookies…I decided to make them and I used the recipe – but I found the ingredient proportions were all wrong. Basically I had to start from scratch. The mix was too dry to pipe and there were way too many nuts chopped. The cook time wasn’t right either – I took them out and thought they were baked, only to find they were still raw in the middle. I baked them again like you would for biscotti, which lead to a pleasingly crunchy texture.

The flavours of the topping - a limoncello icing - a great tangy, boozy wallop with the creaminess of the nuts compliments the cookies, which don't have too much of an overbearing flavour.

These are great fun cookies, which are apparently a Southern Italian tradition. Piping them into circles makes them a grown-up party ring.  (I wouldn't recommend them for kids due to the limoncello).

pistachio and limoncello cookies

I won’t mention the name of the book, or author that inspired this bake. I am a fan of this person and I’m sure all the other recipes in the book were spot on. But these cookies are my own amended version of the recipe….

Check Luca's recipe for homemade limoncello over at Chestnuts and Truffles.

Pistachio and Lemon Cookies

Thumbnail Url Piped cookies topped with a limoncello icing 
and sprinkled with chopped nuts
Cuisine: Snack Category: Cookie Yields: 20 cookies
Prep Time: Cook Time: Total Time:

  • 180 grams salted butter, softened
  • 50 grams caster sugar
  • 230 grams plain flour
  • 3 tablespoons milk (more if required)
  • 130 grams icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons limoncello
  • 30 grams chopped pistachio nuts
  1. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper and pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and smooth.  Add the flour and milk, stirring until the ingredients come together and you get a pipeable consistency. You may need to add a bit more milk.
  3. Transfer the mix to a piping bag fitted with a star tip, if you have one, and pipe circles onto the baking paper – about 2 inches across. I got about 10 on each tray.
  4. Bake them in the oven for 10 minutes then remove and allow to cool fully. Pop them back in when cooled, for another 10 minutes until golden brown on top.
  5. Make the icing by stirring together the icing sugar and limoncello, then drizzle this over the warm cookies. When the icing is still wet, sprinkle the chopped pistachios over the top.
  6. Allow the icing to set, before digging in.

As said, these are my entry into this month’s Treat Petite, hosted by me this month and alternately with Kat from The Baking Explorer. The theme is Eurovision countries.

I am also entering these into The Biscuit Barrel challenge hosted this month by The Lass in the Apron Alexandra and alternately with Laura at I’d Much Rather Bake Than…The Theme there is party and as these are for a Eurovision Party these are perfect!


  1. Aw, I hate it when cookbooks are wrong! Still these look smashing - some of my favourite flavours. I might try them for Saturday! Thanks!

  2. I've never had limoncello before (I know thats shocking) but I think I may have to invest so I can make these :)

    1. You must try it Sisley - you'll be hooked - well hopefully not literally ;)

  3. I love these Stuart look wonderful!!

  4. These cookies looks awesome.
    I am celebrating my First Blog Anniversary-
    There is a event and a give away. Please join, it is open for everybody.

    1. I hope it went well - happy blogaversary!!

  5. Is it bad that I know and have the book you are talking about? I almost tried these once, but now I am glad I haven't. If I am correct on said book then try the recipe on page 170. I have used it over and over. You many already have a recipe that you use over and over for this, but it's worth a go!

    These look amazing though!!

    I have a great entry for your Eurovision treat petite that I can't wait to post!! :0)

  6. I love the sound of these cookies--they are a perfect party bake for The Biscuit Barrel Challenge! I suppose this is horrible, but what is Eurovision? As a recent transplant to the continent, I'm completely baffled . . . and judging by the amount of excitement surrounding it, I'm assuming it must be a pretty big deal.

    1. What is Eurovision??!! I hope you have since discovered - it is as camp as a row of tents!!

  7. I am a huge fan of Limoncello AND pistachio, so these totally float my boat!
    It is quite funny though that the recipe was all wrong! I'm dying to know who's book it was! Should we blame it on the proof-reader????

    1. Maybe, I'm not sure a lot of these celebs actually have anything to do with the recipes in the book!

  8. Hmm I think that explains why the recipe book was in the sale!!! The cookies look awesome though and sound delicious.

  9. These look wonderful. I could make these with my homemade limoncello!


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