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1. In a large bowl combine butter and cream cheese. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping 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. If desired, stir in orange peel.
2. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a roll about 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Place pistachio nuts on a sheet of waxed paper. Roll each roll in pistachio nuts. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Chill about 1 hour or until dough is firm enough to slice.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut rolls into 1/4-inch slices. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
4. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks; cool.