Rose Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
Updated: Dec 3, 2020
There’s something about rose and pistachio that goes together perfectly. The flavors complement each other wonderfully. There’s even a Persian Rose and Pistachio Love Cake! If two people eat it will they fall in love? Who knows, but it couldn’t hurt.
Love these flavors? Try my Rose Pistachio Cardamom Buns
Inspired by We Are Not Martha’s recipe, this is my adaptation using my shortbread cookie recipe as the base. I made the recipe from We Are Not Martha, which is adapted from Alison Roman’s salted chocolate chunk shortbread cookie, and felt it was too sweet, had too much sugar, and needed more rose flavor. The step of rolling the dough into a log and rolling in egg white to cover the edges in crushed pistachios and more sugar was not necessary and made it taste like a Danish butter cookie, which I dislike with the fire of a thousand suns.
Less Sugar, More Salt
So for my version of this recipe, I incorporated dried rose petals into the cookie dough, and used homemade rosewater in the icing to punch up the rose flavor. I reduced the sugar and significantly cut down on the vanilla extract that was competing with the delicate rose and pistachio flavors. Too much rose and rosewater and it can smell or taste perfume-y, but just the right amount is like falling in love (see what I did there… Persian Love Cake?).
I feel like I’m on a constant crusade about how everything is too sweet. Don’t get me wrong, I have an insane sweet tooth, but all the store-bought cookies and most recipes I try have too much sugar. I think our taste buds have been desensitized to sugar and our brains are programmed to want more, more, more! So that’s why you’ll hear me say, “less sugar, more salt” often when I’m baking.
Learn More! Watch the documentary “Fed Up” to see how sugar affects our brains and bodies. Try a 10-day no sugar challenge to reset your taste buds. I did it several years ago and I noticed my tolerance for sugar changed significantly.
How to Make Rosewater
Boil rose petals in a pot with just enough water to cover them. Bring water to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. The rose petals will turn translucent. Strain and squeeze out the liquid and discard the translucent rose petals. Transfer to a small jar and store in the fridge. It will last a few months stored in the fridge.
How to Dry Rose Petals in the Oven
Rinse and pat organic rose petals dry. Scatter them evenly on a baking sheet and place them in an oven on the lowest setting 150-170 degrees F. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until the petals are completely dry and crunchy. Cool and store in an airtight container.
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Get the Recipe
Rose Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
Lovely rose and pistachio scented shortbread cookies with rosewater icing, dried rose petals, and crushed pistachio nuts
Time to Prepare: 45 minutes
Makes 40 small cookies
1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup pistachios, crushed
1/2 cup dried organic rose petals, crushed (plus extra 2 tablespoons for decoration)
1 tablespoon rosewater
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cream together 1 cup butter, ½ cup sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt until smooth.
3. Add ½ cup crushed pistachios, ½ cup crushed dried rose petals, and flour into the mixture. Mix until a smooth dough forms.
4. Roll out dough on a flat surface between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. If the dough is too soft and sticky, chill in the freezer for a few minutes.
5. Cut out cookies, using a round cookie cutter and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. If the dough is soft and difficult to lift, chill in the freezer for a few minutes.
6. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until the edges are light golden brown. Turn the pan halfway through baking to even bake on both sides.
7. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
8. Mix 1 tablespoon rosewater and ⅔ cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar for a smooth glaze. The color of your glaze depends on the color of the rosewater. If you’d like more pink color, add a small drop of food coloring.
9. Using a small spatula, glaze ⅓ of the top cookie (or dip into the glaze), and sprinkle your remaining dried crushed rose petals on top.
10. Let it set and dry completely. Dip it in a cup of tea and enjoy! Store in an airtight, sealed container.
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