This shortbread recipe originated from my friend Chris Broberg, a very talented pastry chef who is now bestowing his culinary talents on the lucky folks at Facebook, where he is the Pastry Sous Chef. Here I’ve adapted it by adding rose water to the dough, creating a classic Middle-Eastern flavor profile, and I’ve garnished the cookies with white chocolate, pistachio nuts and rose petals. They are easy to make, pretty and delicious, which is probably the most you can ask for in a cookie recipe. Thanks, Chris!
Makes about 42 cookies
Special Equipment: 2-inch flower-shaped cookie cutter
Pistachio Shortbread Cookies:
- 1/2 cup (68 grams) shelled unsalted pistachio nuts
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- 1 2/3 cups (217 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) cornstarch
- 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon rose water (not rose essence)
- 12 ounces (283 grams) high quality white chocolate, melted and tempered (see some excellent tempering instructions here) OR 10 ounces (283 grams) Ghirardelli white melting wafers, melted
- 1/3 cup (55 grams) finely chopped pistachio nuts
- Premium dried rose petals, as needed (available here)
Make the cookies:
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.
- Place the pistachios and 1/4 cup of the sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until the nuts are finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add the flour, cornstarch, and salt and pulse until blended. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar at medium-high speed until light, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolk and rose water at low speed and mix until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the dry ingredients at low speed, mixing until combined.
- Scrape the dough out onto a work surface and knead it gently a few times until it is smooth. Divide it in half and shape each half into a rough rectangle. Place one of the rectangles on a large piece of parchment or waxed paper. Place another piece of paper over it and, using a rolling pin, roll it out to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Carefully peel off the top piece of waxed paper. Replace it loosely and flip over the dough. Peel off the top piece of paper. Using a 2-inch flower-shaped or round cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as possible from the dough. Gather up the scraps and reroll them between sheets of the paper.
- Arrange the cookies, 1/2 inch apart, on the prepared baking sheets, using a small offset spatula to transfer them. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, for 15 to 20 minutes, until just lightly colored around edges. (Watch the cookies carefully as their color changes very quickly.) Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Garnish the cookies:
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip 1/3 of each cookie into the chocolate, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Arrange 3 small rose petal pieces on the chocolate, and then sprinkle on some finely chopped pistachio nuts. Place the garnished cookie on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with more cookies, until the sheet is full. If you are using real chocolate, allow it to set at room temperature. If you are using melting wafers, refrigerate the cookies for 10 minutes, until the coating is set.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.