Pistachio Shortbread Trees
1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. finely chopped pistachios
2 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
16 pretzel spindles or sticks, broken in half
1 c. powdered sugar
1-3 Tb. milk
1. Heat oven to 325º. Spray 2 cookie sheets with nonstick spray. In lrg. bowl, combine butter and sugar; beat 'til light and fluffy. Reserve 2 Tb. of pistachios. Add remaining pistachios, flour and vanilla; mix well. Dough will be stiff.
2. Divide dough evenly into 4 pieces; shape into balls. On lightly floured surface, pat each to form 6" round. Place rounds on sprayed cookie sheets. With table knife, lightly make indentations on surface of dough, dividing each round into 8 wedges. In outside edge of each wedge, insert 1 pretzel half for tree trunk.
3. Bake at 325º for 16-21 min. or 'til edges are light golden brown. Cool 2 min.; remove from cookie sheets. Cut each round into 8 wedges; place on wire racks. Cool 15 min. or 'til completely cooled.
4. Very finely chop reserved 2 Tb. pistachios . In sm. bowl, blend icing ingredients, adding enough milk for desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle icing in zigzag design over each cookie. Before icing sets, sprinkle cookies with reserved pistachios.
Note: If baking 2 cookie sheets at one time, switch positions halfway through baking.