These rose pistachio shortbread cookies, smell and taste amazing.
About 10 years ago, I was lucky enough to be whisked off for a long weekend in Istanbul. Oh my gosh, I absolutely loved, loved, loved it. The beautiful architecture – oh the Hagia Sophia, the really stunning Topkapi palace and the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. Soooooo much to see and soooooo little time.
But most memorable for me was my experience of the last few hours in Istanbul. I still remember my excited surprise as I stumbled across a market – the sights and smells of piles of spices; of nuts; edible flowers, was the best thing ever. Something that has stuck in my mind for ages.
And as we were leaving it, there was some pistachio and rose petal halva which of course I HAD to try. That taste has stayed with me for a decade. I only have to think of it to start drooling.
So these pistachio rose cookies are my attempt to bring a little bit of that moment back to life, and although it doesn’t have the stickiness or sweetness of halva, this recipe does carry the flavours I remember so well through.
Smelling and tasting these pistachio shortbread cookies, I’m certainly transported right back to Istanbul. I wonder how soon I can get back there.
Tips for making Pistachio Cookies
- To get the maximum flavour for these easy pistachio cookies try and make sure you use as fresh pistachios, rose petal and rose water as you can. They will be much more fragrant then.
- You can cut out the cookies in 2 ways. Shape into a log and slice, or roll out an use a cookie cutter. I tend to use a cookie cutter as my kids love cutting them out.
- Make the dough ahead of time, cut and freeze with baking paper between each shortbread cookie. That way you can simply bake them as needed. Just add another 2 mins to the baking time if baking from frozen.
- Shortbread is normally baked for a little bit longer at a lower temperature than most cookies. So please don’t be tempted to increase the temperature.
- If you want your cookies to have an even colour throughout then do turn them round.
- To turn these pistachio rose cookies into more simpler pistachio cookies, simply omit the rose petals and rose water and add approximately a quarter of a tsp of lime zest or other citrus zest and lime juice to your taste. So, so good.
If you like pistachio desserts then why not check out this saffron pistachio cardamom butter toffee, or these pistachio baileys shortbread cookies with a chocolate baileys glaze and pistachio dust.
Cookie lovers, you could try your hand at making these lush Oat Cookies from Fuss Free Flavours too. They are packed with seeds, are crunchy and require no cookie cutter or rolling pin. Easy peasy and perfect right?
Here is how to make these Rose Pistachio Cookies. Please do try them and if you do make them then please do tag #recipesfromapantry on Instagram or Twitter so that I can pop over and have a look. It is really, really awesome for me when you make any one of my recipes. You can also share it on my Facebook page.
Thank you for reading my Pistachio Cookies recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue dreaming up recipes, traditional African recipes, African fusion recipes, Sierra Leone recipes, travel plans and much more for you.
- 250 g (2 sticks) unsalted butter softened
- 100 g (0.5 cups) caster sugar
- Juice of ½ orange
- 2 tsp rose syrup
- 250 g (2 cups) plain flour
- 125 g (0.8 cups) rice flour
- 5 tbsp pistachios roughly chopped
- 2 tsp chopped rose petals
- Pinch of salt
- To finish:
- 1 tbsp chopped pistachios
- 1 tbsp chopped rose petals
Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl and cream together using an electric hand mixer till the mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in the orange juice and rose syrup. Then add in the flours, chopped pistachios, rose petals and salt and mix until you get a soft dough. If the dough is a little bit sticky then add in a tbsp or two of flour.
Split the dough into two and shape each one into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hr minimum.
- Preheat oven to fan assisted 150C / 170C / 325F / gas 3.
Take the first disc of dough from the fridge, roll it out on a lightly floured surface till it is about 5mm thick and then cut into your desired shapes (I use a 6cm diameter cutter) and lay on a lined baking sheet. Quickly scoop up the excess of dough, reshape, roll out and cut again. Repeat with the second disc of dough. You can freeze some of the cut shortbread at this stage.
- Bake the shortbread for 12-14 mins until they are lightly golden.
- Let the shortbread cool on the tray for about 10 mins before transferring it to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Serve with extra pistachios and rose petals dotted around.