These Gluten-Free Pistachio Shortbread cookies with rosewater icing (also known as sugar cookies) are such a beautifully well-rounded combination of flavors. With aromas reminiscent of pistachio baklavas, these gluten-free treats will warm your soul and please any palate. A real delight!

Gluten-Free Pistachio Shortbread Cookies [Vegan, Gluten-free]

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For the Cookies:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted vegan margarine, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (solid format)
  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup pistachios (ground and sifted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Agar powder

For the Vegan Rosewater Royal Icing:

  • 3 tablespoons Aquafaba (chickpea water)
  • 1 1/2 cups Icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon  Rosewater
  • 1 cup Pistachios Chopped


For the Cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, cream coconut oil and margarine with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes on medium speed. Slowly add sifted powdered sugar to the mixture one tablespoon at a time. Stir in your vanilla, ground pistachios, and flour and mix until incorporated. Stir in your agar, then cover the bowl with saran wrap and leave in the fridge overnight.
  3. Remove dough from the fridge and divide it into two parts. Keep on of the parts in the fridge, covered with the plastic wrap. Roll the other half on a counter lined with parchment paper until it’s 1/4” thick. You can work your dough into your hands to warm it up if it’s too hard to work with. The dough will become very sticky so I recommend using a saran wrap on top of your dough to roll it out.
  4. Use your cookie cutter shape of choice but watch out for any stuck-on cookie dough. Rinse off excess cookie dough with hot water between cuts to make a nice clean shape.
  5. Place your cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake trays anywhere from 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies you are making. Watch them until the edges turn a golden-brown color.

For the Icing:

  1. Whisk the chickpea brine with an electric mixer until foamy and then add the icing sugar 1 tablespoon at a time to the mixture until fully incorporated and thick. Add in rose water.
  2. Dip your cookies into the icing and place them on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle on your chopped pistachios.


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  1. Just finished making these today. So delicious. I couldn’t find agar powder so I bought agar flakes and ground them with a mortar and pestle. Also used a vegan butter stick instead of vegan margarine which was fine. These turned out super shortbread-y! Highly recommend.

  2. Hello, the recipe looks very good and I want to try making it. Can I use all coconut oil and not margarine? I can’t find agar powder, can I use something else? Thanks!