These soft and chewy cookies are bursting with crunchy pistachios and rich chunks of white chocolate. If you’re looking for something a little different, these will hit the spot!
Just in the knick of time, I have one more Easter-ish recipe for your dessert table.
I made these pistachio white chocolate chunk cookies a couple of weeks ago and wasn’t sure if they were appropriate for the holiday, but a highly-scientific survey (ok, an Instagram poll) informed me otherwise.
Phew, because these are too good to be missed.
Picture this: a thick, chewy-on-the-inside, slightly-crisp-on-the-outside cookie stuffed with just about as many fat white chocolate chunks and crunchy pistachios as the dough can handle. The dough is slightly sweet and slightly salty to balance out the extra sweetness of the white chocolate.
It’s a flavor, texture, and color bonanza on a plate – or better yet, in your belly.
Why don’t we bake with pistachios and white chocolate more often? Let’s change that, starting now.
On the surface, these are very simple cookies: a basic, gluten free and grain free dough plus some add-ins, right?
Well… yes and no. Grain free dough is never simple in the sense that any glutinous, or even a gluten free, grain-based dough would be. Luckily, these are based on the formula I came up with for my gluten free and paleo chocolate chip cookies – which are also known as The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies, Ever (I did not give them that name, believe it or not). So, it’s safe to say the foundation of these cookies is quite strong.
I did tweak the recipe quite a bit – some might say too much – but the basic tenants of a perfect cookie remain:
- No unnecessary (or conventional) ingredients. Just the usual suspects: almond and coconut flours, coconut sugar, salt, baking soda, oil, egg, maple syrup, vanilla, chocolate, and nuts.
- Easy to make: 2 bowls, two spoons (or forks. I prefer forks! Anyone else?), and a cookie sheet. Done.
- Crispy edges: the kind that entice you to take just one bite, and then another and another.
- Soft centers: the real hero here.
- Tons of gooey chocolate deposits: needs no explanation.
I’d like to add to that: crunchy nuts in every bite (to balance out the aforementioned chocolate) and the perfect ratio of sweetness to saltiness.
What makes these cookies unique?
Besides the obvious – that these contain white chocolate and pistachios, while the original formula contained the ideal combination of dark chocolate chunks and flecks – there are a few other small but significant differences between my original version and this pistachio white chocolate chunk cookie.
Slightly more coconut flour
Because coconut flour is so absorbent, just a few tablespoons make a major difference. This recipe contains 3 tablespoons more than the original recipe, yielding thicker, firmer cookies that don’t spread much (but you want it that way, trust me).
Slightly more salt
The sweeter flavor of the white chocolate, compared to an equal amount of dark chocolate, calls for a little more salt for adequate balance. That’s why I’ve doubled the amount of salt this recipe calls for, relative to the original. It’s not crazy – just 1/2 teaspoon compared to 1/4 teaspoon. If you’re using salted pistachios, however, you’ll want to omit the added salt completely.
Slightly less oil
Sometime about these add-ins (the size and weight, I think) made the cookies spread wayyyyy too much compared to the original version. So, here, I reduced the amount of oil which, upon melting in the oven, is responsible for the cookies’ spreading.
Slightly less sweetener
Since white chocolate is pretty sweet, and these cookies aren’t shy about the amount of white chocolate they contain, I dialed back the added sweetener juuust a hair. Plus the liquid in the maple syrup accounts for some of the spreading too, in the original recipe, so reducing the sweetener in this version helps the cookies hold their shape better, too. Finally, I switched from maple syrup to honey for this version, since honey better compliments the flavors of the pistachio and white chocolate than maple syrup would.
Much more add-ins
The original recipe calls for a mere 3/4 cup of chopped dark chocolate. This version contains a whopping 1 3/4 cups (!!) of chocolate and nuts. So, I think you’re going to like it 😜.
I used Santa Barbara Chocolate white chocolate chunks for these cookies (this is not sponsored; I just really love their chocolate!), but you can use any chunks you find in the store or online, or just chop up a white chocolate bar.
Tips and tricks for making perfect pistachio white chocolate chunk cookies
Like most grain free desserts, these are a little finicky. Here are a few suggestions for ensuring your batch comes out perfectly!
The dough is easy to make, but beware of a few possible pitfalls
Mix the wet dry ingredients, then the wet, them combine them. Finally, add the nuts and chocolate. This sequence is essential for making sure that all of the ingredients get incorporated thoroughly.
When you’re stirring in the chocolate and nuts, you’re probably going to think “there is no way that this batter can hold this much chocolate and nuts”. You’re almost right. It’s pushing it, I will admit, to put this much into such a relatively small amount of batter.
The add-ins have to be forced to mingle with the dough at times. In other words, when you’re scooping cookies, don’t be afraid to shove a few extra pistachios or a rogue piece of white chocolate into the scoop. And there will likely be some chocolate chunks and nuts left at the bottom of the bowl once you’ve scooped all of the dough out. Don’t throw them away! Press them into the tops of the cookies before you bake, so that they come out looking like the ones in the photos.
The dough won’t spread much during baking
Since these are designed to stay thick and chewy, they won’t flatten and spread the way you’d expect cookies to do during the baking process. Instead, you have to make sure you press each dough ball down very slightly once its on the cookie sheet, so that it will come out of the oven in the shape you expect it to.
Otherwise you end up with cookie balls – not that there is anything particularly wrong with that!
Making ahead and storing
Even though I said I dialed back the moisture-imparting ingredients, these are still ultra-moist cookies. That’s what makes them so rich and chewy! The flip side of that is that storage can be tricky. Once you put them in an airtight container, the moisture gets trapped inside and starts to redistribute, resulting in bafflingly soft, crumbly cookies after only a day or two on the counter.
In all honesty, these are not the most make-ahead-friendly cookies. Ideally, you’d make these cookies just a few hours before you plan to enjoy them. But I understand that that’s not always realistic.
If you’re only going to store them for 24 hours or less, leave them on the counter in a container with the top halfway on. That allows air to circulate in and out and prevents them from getting too dried out.
If you need to make these far in advance, you can store them in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days. They’ll get a little softer every day, but that’s ok. Before you plan to serve them, preheat the oven to 350 and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes (you’ll need more time the longer they’ve been sitting) until they firm up again. Plus, who doesn’t love a warm chocolate chip cookie?
Or, simply bake, cool completely, and store in the freezer. Then you can defrost them as needed.
I hope these make your holiday weekend extra sweet.
- 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup white chocolate chips or chunks
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped shelled pistachios
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Line two baking pans with parchment or a silicone pad and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut sugar, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, lightly whisk the egg, them whisk in the oil, honey, and vanilla extract.
- Pour the wet (egg, etc.) mixture into the dry (flours, etc) mixture and stir to combine.
- Fold in the chocolate and pistachios.
- Scoop heaping 2 tablespoon portion and roll it into a ball. Place ball onto the prepared baking sheet and press down slightly to form a thick disc.
- Repeat with the rest of the remaining dough.
- If there is any remaining chocolate or nuts on the bottom of the mixing bowl once you have scooped all the dough, press the pieces into the top of the dough balls before baking.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes until matte on top and just slightly golden around the edges. The cookies will look done, but still be very soft and delicate.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will firm up as they cool.
Ideally, you'd make these cookies just a few hours before you plan to enjoy them. But I understand that that's not always realistic. If you're only going to store them for 24 hours or less, leave them on the counter in a container with the top halfway on. That allows air to circulate in and out and prevents them from getting too dried out.
If you need to make these far in advance, you can store them in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days. They'll get a little softer every day, but that's ok. Before you plan to serve them, preheat the oven to 350 and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes (you'll need more time the longer they've been sitting) until they firm up again. Plus, who doesn't love a warm chocolate chip cookie?
Or, simply bake, cool completely, and store in the freezer. Then you can defrost them as needed.
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Jelly Roll Baking Sheet
AmazonBasics Silicone Baking Mat - 2-Pack
Callebaut White Chocolate Chunks 16 oz
Trader Joe's Dry Roasted and Unsalted Pistachio Nutmeats Halves and Pieces, 8 oz
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 247 Total Fat: 16g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 14mg Sodium: 122mg Carbohydrates: 23g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 19g Protein: 4g