Pistachio Cherry Meltaways

I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving. I wanted to thank you guys for reading my ramblings, for being patient with me when my life takes over, for sending me your own wonderful recipes, and for sharing your stories. Thanks. There are so many times I read a comment or get an email that makes my day.

We had another reason to be grateful 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.

I originally posted these Pistachio Cherry Meltaways as part of I Heart Naptime’s Crazy Christmas Event earlier this month.

Pistachio Cherry Meltaways | The Girl Who Ate Everything

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…

cherries-001I 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.Pistachio Cherry Meltaways | The Girl Who Ate Everything

Pistachio Cherry Meltaways
Prep Time
5 hrs 50 mins
Cook Time
5 hrs 50 mins
Author: Christy Denney
  • 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
  • 1/2 cup maraschino cherries , chopped finely
  1. 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.
  2. Add the almond extract and green food coloring if you want the cookies with a brighter green color.
  3. 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.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30-60 minutes or until firm.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Take a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Place cookie on the cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.
  7. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet. Once completely cooled sprinkle cookies with additional powdered sugar.


Speak Your Mind



  1. This cookies look so delicious!! I love the cherry and pistachio combo. Pinning!

  2. Wow! I am so glad that you were there for your water cooler. Events like that are scary. These cookies look amazing. Love the festive colors. Thanks for sharing.

  3. So glad everyone was safe! That is totally scary when stuff like that happens! I don’t go to bed with the dryer going anymore, cuz someone said recently that they can catch fire! Yikes! Anyway…..thanks for this yummy recipe! I can’t wait to make them! I LOVE maraschino anything!

  4. I want one, right now!!!

    Pinning this!

  5. How scary! So glad you guys are all okay! These cookies look super tasty!

  6. That is my worst fear: my house catching fire. Your story alternately freaked me out and made me so grateful that it wasn’t more serious for you. Seriously!

  7. I made these cookies yesterday, and they are delicious! But mine spread out quite a bit while baking and I ended up with very flat, thin cookies. Any idea why? Perhaps it was the brand of pudding mix I used??

  8. Was food coloring used in the cookies photographed in this blog entry?

  9. Don’t need the red and green combo, but I think I’m going to try these cookies with other flavor combos gingerbread pudding and pecans? Maybe replace the almond extract with vanilla? We’ll see how it turns out!

  10. angelitakarmalita says:

    That is so frightening! who would think that a water cooler could burst into flames! you just never know, and yes, it’s always good to be grateful.. I’m so glad that you were, where you were and able to act so quickly. I shutter to think how differently this could have gone. Grateful for family, friends, loved ones, and now Pistachio-cherry meltaways…. glad you and your family are okay (thanks for the cookies recipe!)

  11. I love cherry in Christmas cookies. Can’t wait to try these. Can I use candied cherries? Thanks!

  12. How many jars of maraschino cherries did you need?

  13. made these today and tasted great BUT it did not spread that much…. was it over chilled? i dont know… had it in. the freezer for 45mins….
    will try another batch soon….

  14. I made these as Christmas treats and they turned out beautifully. I’ve been having trouble making cookies lately–they just never turn out well, so I was nervous about them, but they are perfect. I froze the dough until it was so hard that I had to cut it with a knife, if that makes a difference.

  15. Kelly Brumley says:

    These are amazingly delicious! I finally have a special cookie recipe that not everyone makes! My cookies didn’t spread much either so after baking I just pressed on them with the back of a fork and they were the perfect shape! Love them so much!

  16. Tried this recipe and was disappointed, the mixture did not come together and I finally added an egg after looking at other recipes online and it finally combined into dough

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      If your butter is soft it will come together eventually. You can add a dash of milk if you want as well.

  17. I’ve made these a couple of times now, and they never spread out at all. They’re still delicious, and adorable, but just look like little balls of dough. Was there baking powder/soda in the recipe, but not listed?

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Nope it’s a simple recipe with no soda or powder in it. You can press slightly down on the dough to flatten them before you bake. Mine spread a little. They are supposed to be in a ball shape. I’m wondering if it’s an allitude thing?

  18. I made these this weekend and they are my new favorite cookie! Thanks for sharing the recipe! For those of you who have had issues with your cookies being too flat, or not flat enough, it probably has to do with your butter. Make sure the butter is soft (not melted, not cold, and not room temperature). I’ve never been very good at baking because I don’t like to measure ingredients, and it took me years to find out how important the consistency of butter can be. But if you follow this recipe exactly how it is given, you should be fine! I hope this helps!

  19. Hi! I am really enjoying your recipes! quick question about the pistachio cherry cookies. is the picture with or w/out the food coloring. because that’s a lovely shade of green.
    Thank you!!

    • never mind! i’m sorry, I just saw your post! reading is so important! making these for this xmas! my mom and I always have a cookie baking day!

  20. I am so glad I ran across this recipe last year. My family loves it. I think these cookies have become my dad’s favorite. We even tried a variation the other day, when we couldn’t find pistachio pudding, we used lemon. They still tasted great. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  21. I made these today and they came out wonderful. I chilled my dough for about 1 hour in the fridge and I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful they came out. This recipe is a KEEPER! Thanks for sharing..my friends & family send their thanks too!

  22. Hi, thank you fit this recipe, I positively love these cookies, they are so good! I am so eager to make them now instead of waiting until Christmas eve, do you think they will hold up well until Christmas if I bake them today? They never last long enough around here for me to figure out their shelf life. Also, how long do you think this dough could be safely frozen for, in the interest of keeping some around to pop in the oven whenever I feel the urge? Thanks!

  23. Going to make these today, look so good! Did you use salted or unsalted butter?

  24. As an eternal optimist that all things will work out, I’m planning to take these to a cookie exchange tomorrow even though I have never made them before! What I was wondering is if you have ever made these a sliced cookie? I shaped them into a 1.5″ diameter log before putting them in the freezer thinking that would work well. Any experience with that?

  25. Christina Sharbaugh says:

    How many does this recipe yield?

  26. really………..there are no eggs in this recipe????????????? i cant get the batter to hold together.

  27. I made these at Christmas time and they turned out perfectly! Delicious. I’m making them again today with my granddaughters, one of which has a thing about my chocolate pistachio candle….says it smellls good enough to eat, so for today we are substuting mini chocolate chips for the cherries! Hope it satisfies her craving…lol. That’s for the great recipe.