Pistachio Shortbread Recipe from the Loire Valley

November 19, 2020  |  By Liz SanFilippo Hall
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Cooking class in FranceFrance is a land of delicious gourmet dishes, no matter which part of the country you visit. For many years our culinary travelers looking for an intensive cooking week in the Loire Valley would book a trip to Walnut Grove Cooking School, where classes focussed not only on modern cuisine but teaching you how to elevate your cooking skills once you’re back at home. The chefs have since retired, but we still enjoy the many memories of our culinary travelers… not to mention the wonderful recipes!

This shortbread recipe is great for the holidays, as it can be made for any of your holiday cookie exchanges or parties!

Discover all our cooking vacations in France.

Pistachio ShortbreadDelicious shortbread cookies made during a cooking vacation in France.

Serves: 30
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10. minutes
Cook method: Bake


  • 250 grams (just over 1 cup) flour
  • 250 grams (8 3/4 oz) butter
  • 125 grams (1/4 cup) icing sugar
  • 125 grams (1/4 cup) corn flour
  • Caster sugar (for sprinkling)
  • 200 grams (just over 1/3 lb) pistachio nuts
  • 1/2 tablespoons water

Learn more about the Loire Valley.


Flour and butter, two key ingredients in most pastries!1. Start by putting all the pistachios into a food processor and lightly whiz so that they’re cut into small chunks, but aren’t finely chopped.

2. Cut the butter into cubes, and then combine the butter with the plain flour, corn flour, and icing sugar. Blend in the food processor until the mixture takes on the appearance of fine breadcrumbs.

3. Move the mixture into a large bowl, so you can add the water as well as the pistachio nuts. Knead all of this together until it stays together as a dough.

4. Divide the dough mixture into two pieces, and roll each into the shape of sausage. It’s best to roll it out on a flat, cold surface. (The chefs recommend marble slab).

5. Put each of the sausage-shaped dough on a large piece of cling wrap, roll, and then twist the ends of the cling film until it’s formed into a cylindrical shape.

6. Peel back the cling wrap, and then start slicing it into cookie shapes (about 5 millimeters thick). Place the cookie dough onto a tray and bake at 150°C (300°F) for about 10 minutes (or until the cookies start to turn golden brown).

7. Allow the shortbread to cool for about 5 minutes, and then sprinkle with the caster sugar.

Chateau of Cheverny during a French culinary tourThis shortbread recipe can be frozen and used for up to two weeks! The chefs suggest enjoying it with a cup of tea or coffee, or as part of the dessert table.

Try these other cookies recipes:

By Liz Hall

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