Tradition dictates we give red roses on Valentine’s Day. But the flower’s symbolic meaning has shifted from the original love, passion, and romance to that of globalization, the commodification of love, and the uninspired clichés surrounding the holiday as it’s thought of today.
Studded with petals and pistachios in every cookie.
Taking a page from traditional Middle Eastern confections, we incorporate the flower’s flavors into a sophisticated cookie that’s buttery, crumbly, and not too sweet. The cookie itself is easy to make, similar in method to icebox (a.k.a. “slice-and-bake”) cookies that entail making dough, rolling it into logs, and chilling or freezing them for a period of time before slicing into rounds and baking away. What makes this cookie genre especially great is that you can easily make the dough ahead of time and store it in the freezer. Anytime the occasion calls for it—be it a sudden relationship spat or a midnight craving—freshly-baked cookies are just a few minutes of slicing and baking away.
Rose-flavored desserts can be tricky; as anyone who’s had a box of badlokum will attest to, using too much of the said flavor risks swinging into air freshener territory. We use a combination of rose water and dried rose petals (both available at specialty grocery stores, e.g. Assad’s) in just-right amounts for a subtle but discernible dose of rose that works wonders with the creamy butter in the background. And for a welcome crunch and distinctive but harmonious nuttiness, we threw in a generous smattering of pistachios whose pretty green hue really pops against the rose-studded cookie. They’re good with milk, better with tea, but ultimately best when shared with the one(s) you love.
- Serves: about 2 dozen cookies
- Active time: 45 mins
- Total time: 3 hrs
- Difficulty: Easy
- Special tools: Hand/Stand Mixer
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/3 tsp rosewater
- 2 cups flour
- ½ cup pistachios, chopped
- 2 tbsp. dried rose petals, chopped finely
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle
attachment, beat the room temperature butter
until light and fluffy on medium speed, about 4-5
- Add the powdered sugar and beat for 1 minute
until well combined.
- Add the egg yolks and vanilla essence, and
continue mixing for 30 seconds.
- Add the flour, pistachios, and rose petals to the
butter mixture and beat until just combined,
taking care not to overmix.
- Divide the cookie dough in half and roll each
into logs about 2 inches in diameter, using
- Wrap the logs and freeze for 2 hours at least.
While the dough is freezing, combine the white
sugar and remaining rose petals and spread over
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper,
and towards the end of the two hours, preheat
the oven to 350 F.
- After two hours, remove the cookie dough from
the freezer and unwrap.
- Roll the logs in the rose sugar until fully
- Using a sharp knife, cut the logs into cookies
about 1/3 of an inch thick.
- Place the cookies on the baking sheets, about 12
per sheet, and place in the preheated oven.
- Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, until the bottoms are
a very light golden brown and the tops are set.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool
completely before serving.