Date, Pistachio & Cardamom Sugar Cookies

Makes about two dozen cookies

Buttery sugar cookies are the perfect template for our caramelly medjool dates, toasted pistachios, fragrant lemon zest, and cardamom. These adorable palm tree cookies will satisfy both sweet and savory fans—they’re not too sweet, have just the right amount of salt, and get a delightful crunch from demerara sugar. 

There’s no need to be intimidated by the rolling and shaping here: rolling out the dough while it’s still soft and pliable—before it’s chilled—makes it much easier to manage. It also helps to divide the dough into two so it’s easier to handle once it’s rolled out. For the most defined shape, you want your dough to be cold going into the oven. If needed, return your stamped out cookies to the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes before baking. Order the palm tree cookie cutter here or use a cutter of your choice.


  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup pitted and chopped Rancho Meladuco medjool dates (about 6 dates)
  • ⅓ cup chopped roasted unsalted pistachios
  • Demerara sugar, for sprinkling

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cardamom, baking powder, and salt. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl and using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla, lemon zest, and 1 egg. Beat until combined, scraping down the sides as needed. 

Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until just combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Scatter the chopped dates and pistachios over the dough and beat on low speed until just combined. Be careful not to overwork your dough.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Dust a work surface with flour and dump out the dough. Press the dough into a rough disk and divide in two. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough into a ¼-inch thick sheet. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle it with a little more flour. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and top with a layer of parchment paper (to prevent sticking). Repeat with the remaining dough. Cover the second sheet of dough with another sheet of parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. 

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a second baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Working in batches, stamp out your cookies with your preferred cookie cutter and transfer to the prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Re-roll your scraps and stamp out more cookies—your final yield will depend on the size of your cookie cutter. If your dough is getting soft, return the cookies to the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes before baking. 

In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg with a splash of water. Brush the egg wash on the cookies and sprinkle generously with demerara sugar. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the cookies are beginning to brown slightly around the edges. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

MAKE AHEAD The cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Let your cookies cool completely before storing.

Recipe & Photos: Julie Heffelfinger @JulieHeff

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