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In a large mixing bowl beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour and, if desired, the orange peel.
Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 7 1/2-inch roll. Roll dough rolls in pistachios to coat. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Chill about 1 hour or until dough is firm enough to slice. Or freeze dough for up to 2 months.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut rolls into 1/4- to 3/8-inch slices. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are light brown. Transfer to a wire rack; cool.