These lemony pistachio cookies by pastry chef Joanne Chang, proprietor of beloved Boston bakery and cafĂ© Flour and author of the forthcoming cookbook Flour, Too, are sweetened with agave nectar—a derivative of the Latin American plant that gives us tequila.

This dough can be made up to 3 days ahead and kept chilled in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Makes 2 dozen cookies


  • ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 cup agave nectar
  • 2 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest (from about 3 lemons)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1½ cups chopped raw pistachios


Active time: 45 minutes
Total time: 3 to 5 hours, including chilling

In a medium bowl, whisk together butter, agave, zest, vanilla, and egg. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Add butter mixture to flour mixture and stir until well combined. Cover and chill dough until cold and firm, 2 to 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place pistachios in a medium bowl.

Working in batches, form each cookie by shaping about 2 Tbsp. dough into a ball and rolling in pistachios to coat. Arrange on prepared baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 apart. Bake until puffed and golden brown on the bottom, 13 to 15 minutes. (Refrigerate unshaped dough between batches.) Set cookies aside to let cool, then serve. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container up to 2 days.


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