At 9pm last week, I suddenly got the urge to bake a batch of rose shortbread. You know when inspiration hits and there’s just no way you can resist running into your kitchen? As I was making the dough, I decided to add pistachios and use my tiny dalahäst (horse statuette) cookie cutter, too. It’s just too cute, right? These are lovely for the holiday season, but they would also be wonderful to serve at a wedding or a baby shower.
- 300 g (2 cups) plain flour
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 200 g unsalted butter, chopped, softened
- 100 g white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp rosewater (see note)
- 1 tbsp dried rose petals, plus extra for sprinkling (see note)
- 45 g pistachio kernels, roughly chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 2 hours
Cooling time 45 minutes
Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Scrape down the bowl if necessary. Add the vanilla and rosewater, and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Finally, stir in the rose petals and pistachios. The dough will feel quite sticky, but resist the temptation to add more flour, as this will result in hard shortbread. Shape the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper and set aside. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Roll out the dough to about 0.5 cm thick. Using the cookie cutter of your choice, cut out the shortbread and place on the prepared baking trays. (Should the dough get too warm, put it back in the fridge to firm up, as it’s easiest to work with well-chilled dough.) Sprinkle with the remaining rose petals.
Bake cookies, one tray at a time, on the middle rack for 10-15 minutes or until the shortbread starts to become golden brown around the edges. (If you have a range of different shapes and sizes of cookies, be sure to take out the smaller ones earlier.) Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Let cool completely before serving or storing in a tin box or a jar.
• Please note that the scent, strength and quality of rosewater varies among brands. If in doubt, start by adding only two-thirds of the amount of rosewater the recipe calls for, taste, and add more if necessary. The flavour should be present but not overwhelming.
• Dried rose petals are available from specialty food shops, along with dried rose buds, which can be susbstituted. Crush buds slightly before using.
Recipe from My Blue&White Kitchen by Sini Ellen, with photography by Sini Ellen.