Cookies Holidays Winter

Olive Oil Sugar Cookies with Blood Orange Glaze

blood orange glaze

These olive oil sugar cookies are a variation of the Sugar Cookies with Lemon Glaze from my book. They can be made with or without the pistachios (both versions are there). I think they are good both ways.

Regular oranges will also work for the icing, but you won’t get the pretty pink color.

You can cut them out into different shapes (see hearts above), but they do puff up a bit when baking and sometimes won’t keep sharp lines, depending on the shape. I find circles work best.

olive oil sugar cookies with blood orange glaze

written in 2019

The day before my cookie book came out, I decided I was going to spend the entire winter reading. My plan was to take my kids to the bus stop each morning, send them off with a kiss and a wave, and then take a giant mug of warm coffee (with a splash of half and half), curl up in my bed under piles of blankets, and read all the books. Yes, all of them.

However, today as I was washing dishes after an entire day in the kitchen baking, it occurred to me that I haven’t done this once, not one.single.time. (O, to be sure, we laugh less and play less and wear uncomfortable disguises like adults, but beneath the costume is the child we always are, whose needs are simple, whose daily life is still best described by fairy tales.*) Alas. The pile of books on my nightstand will keep growing, I guess.

But, today, while I was bustling around my toasty warm kitchen, I did make treats to share with you. I know it’s been quiet around these parts (I’ll blame an entire month of recipes that just didn’t quite turn out as hoped, and still need some work), but I’ll have some new posts for you soon. And I do have cookies! I love them almost as much as I do my chocolate chip cookies. Plus they are pink, without any food coloring whatsoever.

But before you head off to find the recipe, I have one question for you. I am currently trying to revamp my newsletter/email, and am wondering what exactly you would like to see in such a thing. I’ve sent out a couple with new blog post highlights and any upcoming events, but I’d love your feedback on what actually makes you want to click open an email and read it. Or do you hate them? Delete them immediately? Tell me all.

*Leo Rosten

More Sugar Cookie Recipes:

child reaching for a heart shaped cut out cookies

Olive Oil Cookies with Blood Orange Glaze

Servings: 2 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 37 minutes
Crisp, olive oil infused cookies that have a rich flavor, topped with a thin blood orange glaze that's naturally pink. These work great as cut out cookies!
Sarah Kieffer
5 from 18 votes
Print Pin Rate


  • 1/3 cup [43 g] roasted shelled pistachios*
  • 2 cups [284 g] all-purpose flour*
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons [57 g] unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup [150 g] granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup [30 g] confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup [112 g] olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Blood Orange Glaze


For the cookies

  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F [180C]. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Place the pistachios in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until finely ground. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Pulse to fully combine and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium until creamy. Add the granulated and confectioners’ sugars and beat on medium until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the olive oil and mix on low until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and vanilla, mixing on low until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix on low until combined.
  • Gather the dough, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
  • Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough to 1/4 in [6 mm] thick. Using a 2 inch biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out circles. (Any dough scraps can be rewrapped and chilled while the cookies are baking.) Gently slide a metal spatula underneath each round and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet.
  • Place 12 cookies on each sheet. Put the first baking sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes. After the dough has chilled, put the first pan of cookies in the oven, and then put the second pan in the freezer. Repeat with the leftover dough.
  • Bake one sheet at a time, 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies are just beginning to brown on the edges.
  • Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool completely on the pan.

For the glaze

  • In a small bowl, whisk together confectioner’s sugar and orange zest. Add the blood orange juice, one tablespoon at a time, until you have a thin glaze. Spread each of the cooled olive oil sugar cookies with glaze and let set before serving.


* These can made with or without pistachios.
*I have been making this recipe for 6+ years now (during the winter holidays especially), and never had a problem with it rolling out, if anything the dough erred on the side of being a little wet. However, many of you have written me to tell me the dough was really crumbly for you, and I found the same to be true when I made it this holiday season (2020).
It could be just a case of dry flour – flour can dry out, especially in the winter months.
Flour also changes from harvest to harvest, so it’s possible that this is a higher-protein season, and that’s why many of us are having trouble. If you find that the dough is crumbly after adding the ingredients, you can add a little water (a teaspoon at a time) until it comes together. I did have one reader add an extra egg and said that worked well, too. I’m sorry if you are having trouble! This really has been my go-to dough for so many things and has worked so well up until now. I’ll update if I find out anything else to help/answer questions. 
  • Reply
    Thursday, February 15, 2024 at 11:16 am

    5 stars
    What a flavorful and beautiful cookie! I made them gluten free so that a family member could also enjoy them and they were perfect. I used King Arthur Measure for Measure flour as a 1:1 replacement for the flour; they were so good that I wouldn’t make them any other way. I have 100 Cookies, 100 Morning Treats and Baking for the Holidays cookbooks and every recipe I try becomes a new family favorite!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, February 13, 2024 at 12:16 pm

    I would perhaps suggest using 2 T less of flour and see how dough turns out. Could prevent crumbling without needing to add the extra moisture.

  • Reply
    Monday, February 12, 2024 at 9:39 pm

    5 stars
    The cookies and glaze themselves are delicious. I was surprised to find blood oranges in my local store. I can get them in my area, but I usually have to go somewhere else. I don’t love sugar cookies generally because they are lacking flavor for me, but these were just wonderful. I toasted the pistachios quite far and I’m glad I did because they really added a nice flavor. No issue working with the dough. I thought the olive oil flavor would come through more but it didn’t. I don’t think it’s a problem with the recipe but it’s just the way it was. I’ve used this olive oil in other recipes and I could really taste it.

  • Reply
    Jennifer W.
    Saturday, December 16, 2023 at 10:14 pm

    5 stars
    First time baking cookies with olive oil and they are delicious, however, I did not get a pink glaze – i’m guessing it assumes on the juice? I am new to making glaze and with just 2 tbs juice the glaze was very thin…any tips on thickening it up?

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at 5:12 pm

      Hi Jennifer – What kind of juice did you use for the glaze? And, to thicken glaze, you can mix in more powdered sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until you get the desired consistency.

  • Reply
    Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at 10:17 am

    Experienced baker here. I struggled with the dough for a good while before returning to the comments. I had a brand new bag of flour so that wasn’t the issue. Finally added some water a bit at a time and got the dough to hold together and then rolled out the dough between some heavy duty plastic wrap on both sides. Blood oranges haven’t made their way to Texas yet, so I subbed in pomegrante-cranberry juice. I’ll probably give the recipe one more chance–but wasn’t the most fun I’ve had baking and I love Sarah’s recipes. The cookies were delicious and a hit with the office cookie exchange folks.

  • Reply
    Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 11:20 pm

    5 stars
    These cookies are fantastic!

    • Reply
      Friday, February 17, 2023 at 3:27 pm

      Dear Sara- this my 2nd year making these delicious cookies – yes it is crumbling dough, but be fearless and quickly came together. I shipped them to my daughter from Los Angeles to San Diego for Valentine’s, but USPS goofed & sent them Washington State. I mailed them 4 days ago, not sure when they’ll arrive. How long will these cookies last? What a fiasco ??

  • Reply
    Wednesday, February 8, 2023 at 8:29 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe twice and love it! One note- the first time I made them, I measured by volume and had no problem. The second time I used the gram measurement and the dough was extremely dry and crumbly as other reviewers noted. I added another egg and some water to help it stick together. Upon further review, I believe the issue may have stemmed from the gram measurement listed. I believe following the assumption that 1 cup flour = 120 grams may result in a less dry product? Just a thought.

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Friday, February 10, 2023 at 1:42 pm

      Hi Natalie – 1 cup of flour always equals 142 g in my recipes, so I don’t think that is the problem. I notice most people have trouble with the dough being dryer in the winter, and it could be a result of flour drying out more in cold climates. If flour isn’t kept in an air tight container it can dry out much faster. It also could be the difference between using shelled pistachios vs. unshelled – unshelled have more oils on them. The latter is something I am going to test soon, and see if that could be a reason why the dough is sometimes more crumbly. I’m glad you liked the recipe, and I appreciate your thoughts.

  • Reply
    Eileen DK
    Monday, March 21, 2022 at 7:21 am

    5 stars
    My friend gifted me with these last week. I cannot stop thinking about them. She made rounds and used pretty gold heart shaped sprinkles. The word on the street is that your cookie recipes are reliably delicious!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, February 8, 2022 at 1:15 pm

    Can you share what type of olive oil you use?

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Tuesday, February 8, 2022 at 2:34 pm

      It differs depending on what’s in my pantry at the time, but a good quality one at that. Examples would be California Olive Ranch which you can find at most grocery stores.

  • Reply
    Brianne Olson
    Tuesday, February 8, 2022 at 8:58 am

    5 stars
    These cookies are totally awesome! I made them with Bob’s red mill 1 to 1 Gluten free baking flour & the recipe worked beautifully. Soooo good!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, February 8, 2022 at 8:00 am

    5 stars
    Oh I love your sugar cookies so much. They look really fantastic. I admire that you baked them with olive oil. I also baked heart cookies last year.. it was for the Valentine’s Day. But I did them, a little bit boring, with butter.
    I like your blog very much, just found it and I’m so happy about this. I will definitely visit you again soon. Greetings from Munich form the Amalienwohnzimmer,

  • Reply
    Monday, February 7, 2022 at 10:17 am

    If I have lightly salted pistachios, should I just leave out the additional salt in the recipe? Or keep it bc we love salt! 😉

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 11:22 am

      I often use salted ones because the extra salt tastes so good, especially with the sweet glaze!

  • Reply
    Lynne T
    Sunday, February 6, 2022 at 6:35 pm

    Can these be frozen? Love cookies using olive oil. Looking forward to making these for Valentines Day. Thank you

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Monday, February 7, 2022 at 8:31 am

      Yes, they can be frozen unglazed. Then when you want to glaze, unthaw and proceed.

      • Reply
        Ziba Burrow
        Monday, February 7, 2022 at 8:46 pm

        I assume you bake them and then freeze them. Correct?

        Also, you stated they could be made with or without pistachios. If I make them without, do I need to sub anything instead?

        • Reply
          Sarah Kieffer
          Tuesday, February 8, 2022 at 8:55 am

          Yes, bake and then freeze without glaze.
          You do not need to sub anything for the pistachios if not using.

  • Reply
    Allie X
    Sunday, February 6, 2022 at 1:58 pm

    5 stars
    I haven’t made these yet but my non-profit is having a bake sale next week. I will bake these because your recipes can always be trusted and I have a blood orange tree in my front yard. I told my friend about the recipe and she suggested calling them My Bloody Valentine Cookies. Can’t wait to make them! Thank you for the recipe.

    • Reply
      Monday, February 14, 2022 at 6:30 pm

      5 stars
      Love that name! And totally stealing it. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sunday, February 6, 2022 at 11:18 am

    Looking forward to making these. If I choose pistachios, do I use roasted and salted?

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Sunday, February 6, 2022 at 1:16 pm

      roasted, i’ll update the recipe card!

      • Reply
        Sunday, February 6, 2022 at 4:04 pm

        Thank u!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Shufelt
    Saturday, February 5, 2022 at 5:16 pm

    5 stars
    Hi! Can you please tell me what you are using as
    “Sprinkles” in the photo?

  • Reply
    Sunday, April 4, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    Okay – we saved the crumbly dough! After it had been refrigerated for a bit – still super crumbly – we put it in a mixing bowl and added whole milk, one tablespoon at a time which loosened it up quite a bit, working it by hand. We added 5 T, which ended up being one tablespoon too many however and we had to add 1 – 2 T flour back in, and also added 1/2 T sugar to get it less sticky. That seemed to work!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 9:35 am

    Hi! Love the idea for these cookies. Can you tell me what I might have done wrong, though? I followed the book and the dough came out so crumbly that I couldn’t roll it out. I didn’t over-mix, and I’m a fairly experienced baker. Should I have weighed the amounts instead of following the cup/spoon measurements? I’d like to try it again. TIA

    • Reply
      Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 9:13 am

      This also just happened to me! I let the dough rest in the fridge for about 24 hours and I can’t work with it – it’s just falling apart. Any tips would be great!

      • Reply
        Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 7:55 pm

        Me too!! My dough is a crumbly mess!

  • Reply
    Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 9:29 am

    Pretties in pink, what else can one say! Not sure what I love more, your cookies , or that quote I´ll save this instant to add to my favorites. So true, so revealing. Let´s just hope we all find enough moments to let our inner kid out to play 🙂 (belated resolution for 2017). Always a pleasure to hop to your site, Sabine

  • Reply
    Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Love the blood orange variation…that pink glaze is so pretty! Also, I love any recipe that utilizes olive oil…I look forward to baking these!

  • Reply
    Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    I love naturally coloured frostings/glazes, your kids are super lucky.

  • Reply
    Friday, March 3, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    These cookies look amazing! I seriously love the shade of pink from blood oranges, so beautiful.

  • Reply
    Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek
    Friday, March 3, 2017 at 5:51 am

    Love these cookies! They’ve been bookmarked forever as my next thing to make from your book. I’ve become borderline-obsessed with sneaking olive oil into just about everything lately…And the blood orange is so stunning in the glaze! As for your newsletter, I actually like your updates! For some reason I get a little calmer when I open them up 🙂

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating