Orange Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I love pairing chocolate and fresh orange in desserts, particularly during the holidays!

Past favorites include Orange Bundt Cake, Candied Orange Slices with Chocolate, and Chocolate Orange Scones.

These thick and extra chewy Orange Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cookies are the latest to join the list and they might be one of my favorite cookie recipes to date. The definition of sweet-salty perfection.

If you’re looking for a unique, flavorful, and crowd-pleasing cookie to share with friends and family this season, look no further!

Cookie Dough in Stand Mixer Bowl

Why You’ll Love These Unique Cookies:

  • Flavor – classic chocolate chunk cookie flavor, but with a lot more intrigue and flavor. Fresh orange zest elevates the bittersweet chocolate. Chopped pistachios add texture, color, and flavor, but can be left out or swapped with other nuts.
  • Zero Chilling Required I’ve heard all the arguments for chilling cookie dough, but it requires a lot more planning and foresight than most cookie cravings allow. This recipe allows you to go from dough to baked cookies in no time at all. Perfect for everyday, last-minute gatherings, and holiday cookie swaps.
  • Thick and Chewy – these cookies bake up thick and chewy, with slightly crisp edges, which is my favorite cookie texture. They also store exceptionally well. They become chewier over time and the orange flavor becomes even more pronounced.
  • Touch of Salt – a sprinkle of flaky salt on top adds balance and keeps you coming back for more.
Orange Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cookie Ingredients

Ingredients You’ll Need:

This cookie dough is made with everyday baking staples: all purpose flour, baking powder and soda, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract.

For flavor add-in’s, you’ll need:

  • BITTERSWEET (or semi-sweet) CHOCOLATE – I prefer bittersweet chocolate in lieu of chocolate chips for these cookies! It produces an elevated, balanced chocolate chunk cookie that isn’t overly sweet. The chopped chocolate distributes evenly throughout the dough in small and large pieces. I recommend Trader Joe’s 72% Belgian Dark Chocolate Bars if you’re looking for a high-quality affordable option!
  • FRESH ORANGE – before creaming, orange zest is rubbed into the sugars to infuse the cookie dough with the loveliest orange essence.
  • SHELLED PISTACHIOS – you’ll want to use raw or dry roasted (unsalted) shelled pistachios for these cookies. If you don’t like nuts in your cookies, feel free to leave them out entirely, but I do love them here. Or swap the pistachios for other nuts, such as hazelnuts or walnuts.
  • FLAKY FINISHING SALT – a little sprinkle before baking is the final and signature touch! I recommend Maldon brand.

BAKING TIP: To make these cookies extra pretty, reserve a small amount of chopped chocolate and pistachios for topping. Before baking, gently press a few pieces of both into the tops of each cookie scoop.

Orange Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cookies on Rack
how to scoot a cookie

The Secret to Perfectly Round Cookies:

One of the best baking hacks that I’ve learned in the last few years is how to make perfectly round cookies. This trick is particularly helpful if you measure the dough with a spoon and don’t want to bother rounding your cookie dough.

  1. Just after the cookies have baked and are still warm on the sheet pan, grab a round cookie cutter or tartlet ring (see photo below) – the cutter needs to be larger than the diameter of your baked cookies or you will cut/crush the cookies.
  2. Place the cutter or ring over the cookie and place gently along one edge of the cookie. Working quickly, gently move the ring in a circular motion until the edges of the cookie are rounded. Repeat with the remaining cookies. That’s it!
Orange Pistachio Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough Scoops
Orange Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cookies

How to Store and Freeze These Cookies:

Once the cookies have baked and cooled, store them in an airtight container (preferably between pieces of parchment or wax paper) at room temperature for up to one week or longer. They can also be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month; thaw for several hours at room temperature.

The dough can also be frozen and baked at your convenience! Scoop the dough into balls, setting them apart on a lined baking tray. Set in the freezer for 1 hour. Once the cookies are chilled and solid, transfer to a large Ziplock bag, squeezing out any excess air. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Bake from frozen, adding an additional minute or two to the total bake time.

Orange Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cookies

More Easy Holiday Cookie Recipes:

If you enjoy these cookies, here are a few other easy cookie recipes to try next.

Orange Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Orange Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cookies

5 stars (2 ratings)
These incredible Orange Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cookies, infused with fresh orange zest and flavored with chopped bittersweet chocolate and pistachios, are extra chewy, thick, and flavorful. Think classic chocolate chunk cookie flavor, but with a lot more intrigue and flavor. A sprinkle of flaky finishing salt keeps you coming back for more! Sweet-salty perfection in cookie form.
This cookie dough requires zero chilling, allowing you to go from dough to baked cookies in less than 45 minutes. See recipe note section for storing and freezing instructions.
PRESENTATION TIP: To make these cookies extra pretty, reserve a small portion of chopped chocolate and pistachio for topping. Before baking, gently press a few small pieces of chocolate and pistachio into the center of each cookie dough scoop. 

Ingredients

  • cups (270g) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter softened
  • cup (130g) packed dark brown sugar
  • cup (130g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semi-sweet dark chocolate chopped
  • cup (85g) shelled pistachios coarsely chopped
  • flaky salt for finishing (I recommend Maldon)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) with a rack in the center position. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Place the dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, and orange zest in a stand mixer bowl (or large mixing bowl). Using your fingertips, rub the zest into the sugars until moist and fragrant. Add the softened butter to the sugar mixture and using the paddle attachment or a hand-held mixer, cream over medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes or until creamy and fluffy. Add the eggs one a time, mixing until each is evenly incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
  • With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and mix just until absorbed. Add the chopped chocolate and pistachios and mix on low speed until incorporated, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl one last time.
    Laura's Tip: Reserve a small amount of chocolate and pistachios for topping on the cookie dough scoops before baking. It makes for a beautiful presentation!
    Orange Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough
  • Using a spoon or scoop, scoop the cookie dough (roughly 2 to 3 tablespoons per cookie) onto the lined sheet pan, spacing the cookies an inch or two apart. Top each scoop with a few pieces of reserved chopped chocolate and pistachios. Sprinkle with flaky salt.
    Baking Note: Not all of the dough will fit on a half sheet pan – if you are baking in batches, allow the half sheet pan to cool completely between rounds or use two half sheet pans, setting on the lower and upper third racks of the oven. Rotate and swap the pans halfway through baking.
    Orange Pistachio Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough Scoops
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Do not over bake, they should still be slightly soft in the center. Allow the cookies cool on the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
    Orange Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cookies on Rack
  • Storage: Once the cookies have baked and cooled fully, store in an airtight container, between layers of parchment, at room temperature for up to a week or more. They can also be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.

How to Store and Freeze These Cookie: 

  • Once the cookies have baked and cooled fully, store in an airtight container, between layers of parchment, at room temperature for up to a week or more. They can also be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.
  • Alternatively, you can scoop the dough into balls, set apart from one another on a lined baking tray, and place in the freezer for 1 hour. Once the cookies are chilled and solid, transfer to a large Ziplock bag, squeezing out any excess air. Freeze for up to 3 months. Bake from frozen, adding an additional minute or two to the total baking time.

Seasonal Flavor Variations: 

  • To make these cookies extra festive for the holiday season, try adding dried unsweetened (or sweetened, your choice!) cranberries to the batter.
Recipe adapted with permission from Simply Scratch by Laurie McNamara. 
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 160kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 26mg, Sodium: 344mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 16g