Lemon-Pistachio Button Cookies

lemon pistachio button cookies
Photo by Joseph De Leo (Chronicle Books, 2015)

This recipe from Baking with Less Sugar by Joanne Chang, co-owner and pastry chef at Flour Bakery + Café in Boston, is full of bright flavor and utilizes cornmeal and pistachios for a colorful crunch.


1/2cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4cup sugar
1tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2teaspoons vanilla extract
1large egg
1cup all-purpose flour
1/4cup fine cornmeal
1teaspoon baking powder
1/2teaspoon kosher salt
Sugar Dipping Mix
2tablespoons sugar
1/4cup finely chopped, roasted and salted pistachios
1tablespoon finely grated lemon zest


  1. In medium bowl, mix the butter, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and egg. Stir togeth­er with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt and stir to combine. Add the butter-egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or up to overnight.
  3. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, pistachios and lemon zest.
  4. Roll the cookie dough into balls the size of a large walnut. Roll the dough balls in the dipping mix, pressing firmly to allow the sugar mix to adhere.
  5. Place the dough balls on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Press them flat with the palm of your hand. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until they are golden brown on the edges, pale in the center and baked through. Let them cool on the sheet for 5 to 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 12.

Get more great recipes from Joanne’s book, Baking with Less Sugar. This recipe was used with permission from Chronicle Books (2015).

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 162
  • Fat 9g
  • Sodium 132g
  • Carbohydrate 17g
  • Sugars 7g
  • Protein 2g