I tried two more recipes with pistachios and, this time, dried rose petals. These pistachio rose clouds had caught my eye a long time ago, but were not as good as I’d hoped. Really, this should just serve as a lesson that I need to stop putting cornstarch in meringue. It produces a chewy center that I never enjoy – I much prefer meringues that are dry all the way through. Perhaps the recipe could be adapted, though, because they sure are pretty!
The pistachio rose cookies below were much more my speed! We all loved these.
I changed the baking time for this recipe. I baked the first batch almost as instructed, actually taking out the cookies at 18 minutes instead of 20 (even though my cookies were twice as thick as those in the recipe), but the cookies were way too dark and crisp for my liking; the directions below are mine. That way, not only do the cookies come out softer, but you can also still taste the rosewater, which is sort of the point. I adapted some of the ingredients, because I don’t have vanilla caster sugar and I imagine that most North Americans wouldn’t keep it in their pantry regularly. You could also add cardamom to the dough, for a more Persian feel. Note that even without any topping, these cookies are beautiful!
I was not able to find straight-up dried rose petals, only dried rosebuds. In order to make this recipe, I first removed the base and sepals and discarded them; then, I crumbled and finely chopped the petals. I think I used 8 rosebuds for this recipe.
I got a total of 36 cookies, but you’ll get more if you slice them more thinly, obviously.
1 cup (2 sticks) lactose-free butter or margarine, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
2 tsp. rose water
2½ cups flour
1 pinch salt
70 g ground pistachios, plus extra to garnish
3 Tbsp. dried rose petals, plus extra to garnish
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Add the egg and rosewater and continue beating until incorporated.
Add the flour, pistachios and rose petals. Stir until a soft dough forms. Divide the dough in two and roll both into logs about 18 cm (roughly 8 inches) long. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 45 minutes, or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
Take one half of the rolled dough from the fridge, remove the plastic and slice 1-cm rounds. Place each round onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden. Cool on a wire rack. To serve, sprinkle a little more rose petals and ground pistachios over the cookies.
(You can slice and bake the other half of the dough now, leave it in the fridge for a few days, or put it in the freezer for another day.)