For the love of cookies

Blood Orange Thumbprint Cookies

Blood Orange Thumbprint Cookies

Dainty bite sized cookies with roasted pistachios, blood orange zest, and a generous blood orange curd filling in the center. These cookies are bright and tangy in flavor and have the most delicious melt in your mouth texture. Definitely need to add these to your baking list.

The perfect combination of buttery cookie and citrus tang.

I am back again with another shortbread cookie in disguise! I was honest in my confession a few weeks ago, I really LOVE shortbread cookies, they are so versatile. This simple and buttery cookie has roasted pistachios and blood orange zest in the dough and an indention that is filled to the brim with the amazing blood orange curd recipe I shared earlier this week. These cookies are light, delicate, and offer a surprise filling that is baked right into the center. It’s a pretty cookie and even more so with a lavish dusting of powdered sugar. How festive is that?

I am using the blood orange curd recipe I have shared earlier this week to make these dreamy cookies, however, if you are looking for an alternative filling…don’t.

Just kidding, here are some other flavors you can use if you don’t want to fiddle with making blood orange curd:

  • Apricot jam-I would add a half teaspoon of almond extract to the dough.
  • Strawberry jam- a sprinkle of salt on top of the jam would be lovely.
  • Raspberry Jam
  • Store bough or Homemade caramel
  • Pear preserves.
  • Orange Marmalade-this one might be my favorite substitute.

Why I Love This Recipe

Flavor-The base of the cookie is a delicate shortbread. It is lightly sweetened and is very buttery which pairs well with the rich and buttery flavor of roasted pistachios. I opted for salted and roasted pistachios which add a tiny bit more salt to the dough than I usually add to shortbread. I like the added salt because it complements the bright, tangy, and acidic flavor of the blood orange curd in the center of the cookie. The blood orange curd is an epic addition to thumbprint cookies.

The curd is baked with the cookies which helps to thicken the curd even further, concentrating the citrus flavor in the curd. What you get with this cookie is a burst of candy like citrus flavor surrounded by a tender buttery cookie with a nice vanilla and pistachio flavor nuanced at the end of each bite. The powdered sugar on top makes for a nice decoration on top of the cookie but it also adds a bit of sweetness to a tart middle and mildly sweet cookie underneath.

Texture-The thumbprint cookies are light and delicate with a fine crumb that melts in your mouth with each bite. The texture of the roasted pistachios offers a slight chewiness to the cookie as the pistachios are a softer nut with less crunch. The blood orange curd middle is soft, creamy, and smooth which is so satisfying with the crumble of the shortbread cookie underneath.

Spring Treat-If you are looking for a great spring cookie or a dessert for Easter, this cookie is just for you. They are perfect little bite sized cookies that pack a whole lot of bright flavors into every bite. They can be made to share with a crowd since a batch of these cookies makes two dozen. Plus, hooray for springtime and fresh citrus flavors!

Blood oranges have a vibrant color and a tangy, bright, floral, citrus flavor. They pair bery well in buttery cookies.

Need more citrus recipes? Look no further! These are my favorites:

Soft Lemon Cookies

Orange Thyme Cookies

Key Lime Curd

Key Lime Pie Cookies

Ingredients You Need

-Butter-room temperature but still firm.

-Powdered Sugar-used in the dough and as a dusting on top of the cookies.

-Egg Yolk-this will keep the thumbprint cookie rich and moist.

-Blood Orange Zest- I used a small blood orange for zest. You can cut away the pith of the orange then segment and add to beet salads. Yum.

-Salt-for flavor.

-Pistachios-I used roasted and salted pistachios. I chopped them finely by hand with a large chef’s knife. You can also pulse in a blender or food processor until fine crumbs form.

-Vanilla Extract-You can also use almond extract as well or in addition to the vanilla. I would add half a teaspoon, so it won’t overpower the flavor of the orange or pistachios.

-Cornstarch-to keep the thumbprint cookies soft and the crumb tender.

-Flour- I used Gold Medal All-purpose flour in this recipe.

Blood Orange Curd- I have shared this recipe earlier this week and it makes an amazing filling for cookies. Click the link for all of my tips and tricks on making blood orange curd from scratch.

Blood Orange Curd is a great addition to these pistachio thumbprint cookies.

Let’s Cookie

In a bowl combine room temperature butter and powdered sugar with a handheld mixer on medium high speed. You can also use a stand mixer. Creaming the butter and sugar should take around 4-5 minutes, I am looking for the butter to be light, creamy, and pale.

Next, I add the egg yolk, orange zest, vanilla extract, and salt and mix for an additional minute on medium high speed.

Then, using a mesh sieve I sift the flour and cornstarch over the butter mixture and combine with a spatula until it resembles a soft dough.

I fold in the pistachios and get ready a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Now it’s time to scoop and indent the dough. I used a ¾ ounce cookie scoop, you can also use a tablespoon, and portion out 24 cookies. I rolled the dough between my palms to smooth out any rough edges on the dough.

Using a half teaspoon measuring spoon, I press a one-inch indention into each cookie. I use my finger tips to smooth out any cracks the cookies may get when in remove the spoon from the dough tops.

The tray of cookie dough then goes into the fridge for at least an hour and up to overnight.

Once the cookies have adequately chilled, I take the blood orange curd and add half a teaspoon to each indention of the cookie dough. I want them filled but not overflowing with curd so I make sure to not overfill the thumbprint.

I preheat my oven to 325*F and bake 12 cookies at a time for 13-14 minutes. Spacing should be around an inch or two around the cookies so they bake evenly. The first batch of cookies took 13 minutes and the second took 14 minutes. You can tell these cookies are done when the curd is slightly bubbling on the edges and the bottoms are barely golden brown. The tops of the cookies will stay quite pale but look dry to the touch when done.

I remove the cookies from the baking sheet and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes before dusting them with powdered sugar.

Store these buttery citrus cookies in a tightly sealed container on the counter for up to a week.

The perfect plate full of spring cookies.

If you try this recipe and love it as much as I do, please tag, follow, and like @sunshinetxcookies on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok. New posts every Thursday so be sure to follow me for more delicious cookie recipes. Happy Baking!

Blood Orange Thumbprint Cookies

Chrissy Grundy
Shortbread cookies with blood orange zest and roasted pistachios are filled with tangy blood orange curd and topped with powdered sugar for a buttery and tangy spring cookie.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 24


  • 2 sticks Butter unsalted, at room temperature.
  • ½ cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 1 tspn Blood orange zest I used one small blood orange.
  • 1 tspn Vanilla extract
  • ½ cup Roasted pistachios finely chopped.
  • ¼ tspn Salt
  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup Cornstarch
  • ½ cup Blood orange curd
  • Powdered sugar for dusting, optional.


  • In a bowl combine room temperature butter and powdered sugar. Mix for 4 minutes on medium high speed until pale and very creamy.
  • Add the blood orange zest, vanilla, salt, and egg yolk and continue to mix for an additional minute.
  • Sift the cornstarch and flour over the bowl of the butter and sugar, then combine using a spoon or spatula. It will form a soft dough.
  • Fold in the finely chopped roasted pistachios.
  • Using a tablespoon or ¾ounce cookie scoop, portion out the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet. There will be 24 cookies.
  • Using a half teaspoon measuring spoon or your thumb, make a one inch deep indention in the tops of the cookie dough.
  • Place cookie dough in the fridge for at least an hour and up to overnight.
  • When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325*F.
  • Fill the indentions of the cookies with a half of a teaspoon of blood orange curd.
  • Bake 12 cookies per parchment lined sheet pan at a time for 13-14 minutes. The cookies will look set and the bottoms should be barely golden. The blood orange curd will appear jiggly but will set up as it cools.
  • Allow the cookies to cool for 20-30 minutes before dusting with powdered sugar.
  • Enjoy!


These buttery pistachio cookies have an irresistibly tangy and sweet middle, blood orange curd.
If you don't have blood orange curd, you can easily substitute with lemon curd, strawberry, or apricot jam!
Keyword gourmet cookies, Spring Cookies, thumbprint cookies

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Chrissy Grundy

Content Creator

Howdy! I love creating delicious cookie recipes. I enjoy spending time with my kids and husband in Buda, Texas and I am a huge supporter of local Texas producers. I am so happy you are here! Let’s start baking!

Chrissy Grundy

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