Pistachio Cherry Meltaway Cookies

These Pistachio Cherry Meltaway Cookies are melt in your mouth delicious! Buttery soft cookies made with pudding mix and dotted with cherries for the perfect Christmas cookie.

Stack of Meltaways on white table with Christmas ornament and red ribbon by them.

Bet you didn’t expect another recipe from me today! Well, hang on because I’m still on my pudding cookie kick and these cookies are just as good as my earlier recipe, Chocolate Mint Pudding Cookies. They are also the most perfect meltaway cookies that I’ve ever made.

Pistachio Cherry Meltaway Cookies scattered on white table with red ribbon and greenery in back.

What’s a meltaway? A meltaway is a cookie with a soft texture, similar to a shortbread, that is made of butter, flour, and cornstarch. These types of cookies tend to melt in your mouth and deliver plenty of flavor.

When I first saw these cookies, I instantly fell in love with them for the holidays. The beautiful green color of the cookies combined with the red of the cherries put it on the top of my red and green cookie list.

Stack of cookies on white table with red and green Christmas ribbon.

The pistachio pudding adds a wonderful flavor but the addition of freshly chopped pistachios puts the flavor over the top. I would recommend buying the pistachios already shelled as my fingers got pretty tired from cracking all the nuts open. (but it was worth it! 🙂 )

Pistachio cookies stacked in snowman bowl with cherry on top and pistachios around base.

These cookies are fantastic for cookie swaps, neighborly Christmas tins, and potluck dinners. If you are taking them to a party, you might want to double the recipe as it only makes 2 dozen.


Want more? Find a list of the best Christmas cookie recipes below the recipe card.


The perfect Christmas cookie! Soft pistachio-colored cookies studded with cherries that just melt in your mouth.
Print Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 2 dozen
Author: Linda Warren


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 3.4-oz package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1-2/3 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • Green food coloring (optional)
  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts, chopped small
  • 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, chopped small and dried with paper towel
  • Confectioner's sugar


  • Cream butter and 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Add pudding and flour and continue mixing until combined. Add almond extract and a few drops of green food coloring (makes them more festive!) and continue mixing until blended.
  • Add chopped nuts and cherries and stir gently with spoon.
  • Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cookie sheets by lining with [easyazon_link identifier="B00D461W5E" locale="US" tag="2coomam-20" popups="n"]silpat[/easyazon_link] (I love these from Amazon & they're a great price) or parchment paper.
  • Roll dough into 24 1" balls and place on cookie sheet. Press down slightly. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on cookie sheets placed on wire racks.
  • To finish, sprinkle generously with confectioner's sugar. Store in airtight cookie tin.

This post has been updated and was first published on December 21, 2013.

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Pistachio Cherry Meltaway Cookies

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