You guuuys, I am finally FINALLY sharing this recipe for Rose water pistachio shortbread cookies. I’ve made it numerous times so far, but I was never fully happy with the pictures until I finally said enough is enough. Are you with me?
I am my own worst critic, never quite fully satisfied with the work I do, but I think everyone in the creative business shares that trait. Because you can always do something differently or better. But, like I said, enough is enough and the perfect spring cookie recipe is finally here.
You know by now that I am absolutely obsessed with pistachios (just look at this spice cake or these Nutella pinwheels or granola 1 and granola 2). At any point in time I’ve claimed a different nut as a favorite, so I’m forever biased and I don’t have just one favorite. But currently pistachios take all the prize. And this time, I put them in cookies. Shortbread cookies to be specific.
The wonderful slice and bake kind of cookies. I adore shortbread cookies and I actually think they might be my favorite kind of cookie. Whenever I’m craving some and have no time, I’ll buy the Scottish Walkers shortbreads but lately I’ve been making more of an effort to make my own.
And really there’s no reason not to. Shortbread cookies are so easy to make, so forgiving and so tasty. And while the recipe name – Rose water pistachio shortbread cookies – is a bit of a mouthful, the cookies itself are really simple.
I adapted the cookies from Deb’s (Smitten Kitchen) slice-and-bake recipe which adapted her’s from Dorie Greenspan. In reality, they’re very much like Alison Roman’s chocolate chip shortbreads that broke the internet. Or, the foodie side of internet I should say.
You can make different versions of the same recipe and my current favorite are these Rose water pistachio shortbread cookies. The touch of rose water gives them such a light taste and a very pleasant springy aroma. It goes together perfectly with pistachios and creates cookies that are hard to forget.
Let me just talk about pistachios for a second. You may be tempted to but the already shelled ones, but please don’t. I know shelling pistachios seems like such a daunting task and I admit it can get a bit boring, but throw on some music or a good show and just do it. Raw, unshelled pistachios are superior to already-shelled ones. They’re usually bigger in size, they have a deeper green color and a richer taste. Also, they’re normally cheaper to buy.
Another wonderful thing about these Rose water pistachio shortbread cookies is that you can make them ahead. The dough itself lasts 3 days in the fridge and even longer in the freezer. Already baked ones will last almost a week, however we’ve never had them for longer than 3 days. And even that was a bit torturous because they’re so good I could eat them in one sitting.
Let’s keep baking until it gets too hot to do so! Rose water pistachio shortbread cookies are THE cookie for Spring. (Although admittedly I’ll be making these monthly for the rest of my life.)
- 115g (1 stick | 4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 50g (1/3 cup) powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon rose water
- 70g (1/2 cup) unsalted shelled pistachios, finely chopped
- 140g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
- a handful of granulated sugar for rolling cookies
- In a medium bowl (or bowl of your stand mixer), cream butter and sugar. Keep beating until smooth. Whisk in the egg, salt and rose water. Then toss in the pistachios and beat until incorporated. Lastly, stir in the flour and beat until no spots of flour are left.
- Roll dough into a log. (It'll be soft, so you can chill it in the fridge and roll it again 30 minutes later.) Wrap the log in plastic wrap and foil, chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.
- When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven 180°C (350°F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap the cookie log and roll it in granulated sugar. Using a sharp knife, slice log into cookies, about 1-cm (1/2 inch) thick. Place cookies on the baking sheet, leaving about 2-cm (1 inch) space between them.
- Bake cookies for 10-15 minutes, until they’re golden brown and set (their tops should be dry, not wet). Bigger thicker cookies need about 15 minutes, while smaller (or thinner) cookies need 10-12 minutes.
- Remove cookies from the oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Both the unbaked cookie log and baked cookies can be frozen (wrapped well) for up to 1 month.