Pistachio Cherry Meltaways are soft and chewy with a sweet pistachio flavor. Easy and festive, these cookies are always a hit!

Pistachio Cherry Meltaways


We had a situation happen this week. My husband and I were watching TV and about to go to bed when we heard a crackling noise. We turned around just in time to see our water cooler burst into flames. My husband quickly threw it outside and diminished the flames. No one was hurt.

As we aired out the house that was filled with smoke we started going over the what ifs. What if we were out of town? What if we had gone to bed 10 minutes earlier? The fire was right below our kid’s rooms. So scary. It could have been so much worse. I’m so grateful we were where we were, that my kids are okay, and for my quick thinking husband.

Pistachio Cherry Meltaways

I always do things full throttle and I was on a quest for a cookie that was not only festive looking but actually tasted good too. I love meltaway cookies and thought that a pistachio version would not only taste amazing but would have the Christmas green color that I wanted.

Meltaway cookies don’t have any eggs in them but are made from butter, powdered sugar, and cornstarch to create that melt in your mouth taste. Since pudding mixes already have cornstarch in them, I thought it would be the perfect component in my version of a meltaway cookie.

I experimented and made no less than four batches of these cookies trying to come up with the perfect combination for a buttery pistachio flavored cookie with bits of maraschino cherry throughout. At one point I called my husband at work and pleaded with him to stop at Costco and pick up more butter on the way home! I can hear the treadmill calling my name…


I love the flavor of maraschino cherries and the flavor goes so well with pistachio. At first I poured some of the cherry juice in with the dough for some extra flavor. Epic fail. Red cherry juice + green pistachio dough = dishwater brown. Not festive at all. Experimenting some more I found that I thankfully could have my cherries and eat them too by simply chopping them finely and patting them dry with a paper towel before adding them to the dough. A VERY important step.

After the cookies have baked you can roll or sprinkle them with more powdered sugar.

Look how fun they are to bite into!


Pistachio Cherry Meltaways

Pistachio Cherry Meltaways

4.69 from 29 votes
These Pistachio Cherry Meltaways are soft and chewy with a sweet pistachio flavor.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • optional green food coloring, (about 2 drops)
  • 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, chopped finely


  • In a stand mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, pudding mix, and flour. Mix until combined. The mixture may seem dry at first but will come together after beating.
  • Add the almond extract and green food coloring if you want the cookies with a brighter green color.
  • Finely chop the maraschino cherries. Using a paper towel pat the cherries removing all of the juice and excess liquid. You want to make sure you dry all of the red juice or you may turn your cookies a not so pretty color. Gently mix in the chopped cherries being careful not to overmix because the color will start to bleed.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes or until firm.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Take a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Place cookie on the cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet. Once completely cooled sprinkle or roll cookies with additional powdered sugar.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Pistachio Cherry Meltaways