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Pistachio Shortbread trees: the recipe

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. vanilla

16 pretzel spindles or rods

Heat oven to 325 degrees F.  Prepare cookie sheets with parchement paper or by greasing them.  In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar and beat until fluffy.  Keep out 2 Tbsp. of the chopped pistachios.  Add remaining pistachios, flour and vanilla. Mix well. The dough will be stiff.  Divide the dough evenly into 4 pieces and make into 4 balls.  Pat each one down to a 6 inch round (on a board or right onto the cookie sheet).  With a knife, lightly make indentations on the dough, marking each into 8 wedges. In the outside edge of each triangle wedge, insert 1 pretzel, or pretzel half for tree trunk.

Bake at 325F for 16 to 21 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.  Cool for 2 minutes, then cut into 8 wedges and place on wire racks to cool.  Cool for about 15 min. or until cool.  Very finely chop the reserved pistachios.  You can mix up an icing of 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 to 3 Tbsp milk, but I prefer melting candy melts or white chocolate.  Drizzle icing in zig zag lines down each tree and sprinkle with the pistachios.  If you make the trees with large pretzel rods, then they can be stood upright in a mug or other container.

Pistachio Shortbread trees: the recipe

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