Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Cardamom-Vanilla Shortbread Cookies with White Chocolate and Rose Petals

For my 800th post, I wanted something that was somewhat impressive. But then again, it really doesn’t feel like I’ve been blogging that long, and this 800th post doesn’t feel like that much of an accomplishment. It kinda snuck up on me, actually. So I figured this recipe was perfect, because it looks impressive, yet is one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make. It literally took me 5 minutes to mix the cookie dough and put it in the fridge! The rest is just slice, bake, melt, dip, tap, enjoy. And the result is so pretty!

I made the cookie dough itself vegan by using margarine instead of butter, and it worked well. The white chocolate is trickier: while there are companies making vegan white chocolate with soy milk instead of cow’s milk, vegan white chocolate is hard to come by. You may need to go to a specialty store or order it online. That being said, regular white chocolate milk, in small doses, isn’t a problem for me. I also don’t have organic roses, because the fertilizer that we bought for our rosebush isn’t organic (I wasn’t thinking that far ahead when we moved in, and now I want to finish this container of fertilizer before buying a new one). I do know, however, that it’s been at least two years since there have been any pesticides used on our roses, so that was good enough for me. This rose variety is Radrazz, though any will do (as will other edible flowers, and the cookies are still very pretty without any petals). Keep in mind that flowers wilt quickly, so if you are keeping the cookies until the next day and they’ve already been dipped and decorated, put them in the fridge. This recipe makes between 18 and 24 cookies.

½ cup (1 stick) margarine (or unsalted butter, at room temperature)
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste, for extra oomph)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp ground cardamom
pinch kosher salt
4 oz premium white chocolate (vegan if you wish), melted
24 organic, unsprayed rose petals

Combine butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and combine.

Whisk together flour, cardamom, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.
Form dough into a long log, about 1 ½ inches in diameter, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325 °F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats. Set aside. Slice chilled dough into ½-inch-thick rounds and place on sheets. Bake until pale golden, about 12-15 minutes.

When cookies are completely cooled, dip halfway in melted chocolate, place on greased parchment paper or silpat, and top with a rose petal. (The chocolate was a little thicker than I expected when I was dipping the cookies, but it worked out anyway; I could have warmed it up a little to thin it out if I had wanted to.) Allow chocolate to set completely before serving.

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