Traditional recipes

Rose pistachio shortbread recipe

Rose pistachio shortbread recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Biscuits and cookies
  • Shortbread

There mightn't be a prettier version of shortbread than this. Flecked with specks of green pistachio and pink rose petals, it's easy to make yet gorgeously impressive. Dried rose petals can be found online or in speciality spice shops.

Greater London, England, UK

3 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 24 small biscuits

  • 100g plain flour
  • 5 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 85g butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios
  • 2 teaspoons crushed dried rose petals

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:15min ›Extra time:2hr chilling › Ready in:2hr25min

  1. Mix together the flour, icing sugar and salt. Tip in the cubed butter, and rub together until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and combine until a solid ball of dough is formed.
  2. Work in the pistachios and rose petals. Roll dough into a log, approximately 3cm in diameter and 25cm long. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 2 hours, or up to 5 days if making ahead.
  3. Preheat the oven to 170 C / Gas 3. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  4. Once dough is chilled and solid, remove cling film. Slice into 5mm rounds and place on baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a light golden colour. Cool and store in an airtight container.

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Pistachio Rosewater Cookies

Published: November 15, 2019 • Modified: July 7, 2020 • by Author: Analida • Word count:1059 words. • About 6 minutes to read this article.

Pistachios are a huge favorite of mine. I must confess, I always buy them whole because I love breaking the shell.

For a long time now I had been wanting to make cookies with pistachios. I also wanted to incorporate rose water into the recipe. Yes, rosewater, an often overlooked culinary ingredient. Although hardly visible in North American cuisine, rosewater is very common in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines.

These pistachio rosewater cookies are basically a style shortbread cookie. They take a little time to make because the dough has to chill for a few hours before they are ready to bake. Other than this long waiting time, the process is very easy.

I took a batch into work and my co-workers were thrilled. I even had a male co-worker tell me that I was sabotaging his diet, jokingly of course. Pistachio rosewater cookies have a subtle floral taste that is not overpowering.

Less Sugar, More Salt

So for my version of this recipe, I incorporated dried rose petals into the cookie dough, and used homemade rosewater in the icing to punch up the rose flavor. I reduced the sugar and significantly cut down on the vanilla extract that was competing with the delicate rose and pistachio flavors. Too much rose and rosewater and it can smell or taste perfume-y, but just the right amount is like falling in love (see what I did there… Persian Love Cake?).

I feel like I’m on a constant crusade about how everything is too sweet. Don’t get me wrong, I have an insane sweet tooth, but all the store-bought cookies and most recipes I try have too much sugar. I think our taste buds have been desensitized to sugar and our brains are programmed to want more, more, more! So that’s why you’ll hear me say, “less sugar, more salt” often when I’m baking.

Rose pistachio shortbread

At 9pm last week, I suddenly got the urge to bake a batch of rose shortbread. You know when inspiration hits and there’s just no way you can resist running into your kitchen? As I was making the dough, I decided to add pistachios and use my tiny dalahäst (horse statuette) cookie cutter, too. It’s just too cute, right? These are lovely for the holiday season, but they would also be wonderful to serve at a wedding or a baby shower.



Skill level


  • 300 g (2 cups) plain flour
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 200 g unsalted butter, chopped, softened
  • 100 g white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp rosewater (see note)
  • 1 tbsp dried rose petals, plus extra for sprinkling (see note)
  • 45 g pistachio kernels, roughly chopped

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time 2 hours

Cooling time 45 minutes

Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Scrape down the bowl if necessary. Add the vanilla and rosewater, and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Finally, stir in the rose petals and pistachios. The dough will feel quite sticky, but resist the temptation to add more flour, as this will result in hard shortbread. Shape the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper and set aside. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Roll out the dough to about 0.5 cm thick. Using the cookie cutter of your choice, cut out the shortbread and place on the prepared baking trays. (Should the dough get too warm, put it back in the fridge to firm up, as it’s easiest to work with well-chilled dough.) Sprinkle with the remaining rose petals.

Bake cookies, one tray at a time, on the middle rack for 10-15 minutes or until the shortbread starts to become golden brown around the edges. (If you have a range of different shapes and sizes of cookies, be sure to take out the smaller ones earlier.) Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Let cool completely before serving or storing in a tin box or a jar.

• Please note that the scent, strength and quality of rosewater varies among brands. If in doubt, start by adding only two-thirds of the amount of rosewater the recipe calls for, taste, and add more if necessary. The flavour should be present but not overwhelming.

• Dried rose petals are available from specialty food shops, along with dried rose buds, which can be susbstituted. Crush buds slightly before using.

Recipe from My Blue&White Kitchen by Sini Ellen, with photography by Sini Ellen.

Meryl Streep’s Pistachio Rose Heart Cookies

The latest recipe in our Nourished By My Heroes series is based on Meryl Streep’s cookie recipe, which I originally saw in an old Good Housekeeping feature from years ago. These delicious pistachio-rose shortbread cookies are an homage to Meryl Streep’s original almond shortbread cookie recipe.

The short crumb and delicate rose flavor of these pistachio-infused cookies are good for the heart and soul. Plus, the aromatics and flavor are uplifting and simply delightful– and there are a number of science-backed reasons why.

First of all: Rose water is rich in anthocyanins, a flavonoid that has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. The flavor and scent of rose also elevates mood.

By pairing rose water with cardamom and pistachio, the resulting shortbread cookies have a fabulous, Mideast flavor that’s also rich in naturally-occurring resveratrol, which is good for immunity. (To Meryl’s original recipe I added 2 teaspoons of rose water, 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom, and swapped the almonds for pistachios– a good source of resveratrol and also Vitamin B6 and Thiamin.)

The recipe’s other proportions remain the same. I did, however, also top these cookies with melted semisweet baking chocolate (rich in antioxidants!) and chopped pistachios instead of jam. This added about 20 extra minutes of decorating post-bake, but the look I achieved was worth it.

The new, modified pistachio rose cookie recipe is below. Enjoy!

Meryl Streep’s Pistachio Rose Heart Cookies

  • 1 and 1/2 cups softened, unsalted butter (aka 3 sticks)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons rose water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 2/3 cup pistachios, finely ground
  • 1 and 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (for melting)
  • chopped pistachios (for garnish)


  1. Cream together the butter, honey, vanilla extract, and rose water.
  2. Add finely ground pistachios and both flours to the butter mixture and thoroughly combine.
  3. Divide dough into 4 sections and tightly wrap each section in parchment paper. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1/8 thick sheets and use a

Notes On This Pistachio Rose Cookie Recipe

Meryl’s original recipe is made with almonds instead of pistachios, and there is no rose water or cardamom. The recipe also allows for the option of making this a thumbprint cookie. If you’d like to do that, then swap the chocolate and pistachios for a thumbprint of jam in the center of each cookie. (Before baking, make an indent in the center of each heart with your thumb and fill it with jam of your choice. This will not effect the baking time.)

If the dough is soft and breaks apart in the cookie-cutter, it isn’t cold enough. Put back in the fridge to firm up then re-roll (dough should be hard to maneuver with a rolling pin).

Fun Fact: Supposedly, Meryl Streep makes a mean lamb chop. Julia Roberts claims to have eaten it during rehearsals for Osage County. Margo Martindale (who plays Streep’s sister in that movie) says it was excellent. If anyone can track down that recipe, please: send it to me!

“Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there.”– Meryl Streep


I love desserts with saffron and pistachio. They are quintessentially Indian and the flavours can be used in a variety of sweet recipes.

Kesar Pista Ice Cream in the summertime is one of my personal favourites!

Kesar Pista Coconut Ladoo is great for special occasions.

You can also add badam or almond to the flavours like we have done with Kesar, Badam Pista Barfi

I had in mind to make saffron and pistachio biscuits of some sort during Diwali but the recipe got delayed. I then gave these a go with shortbread and couldn't be happier with the results.

Rose, Pistachio & Olive Oil Shortbread

Today I’m sharing my latest collaboration with my absolute favourite clothing company, Braintree Clothing!

Braintree have a floral theme going on in the latest collection so I decided to create something using my favourite edible flower, rose. Paired with pistachios, these cookies have a Middle Eastern vibe to them but also a Christmassy feel and make wonderful Christmas gifts!

The twist is that these shortbread cookies use olive oil in place of butter. Surprisingly, it results in the most delicious, melt-in-your-mouth biscuit, you definitely won’t miss the butter.

Rose Shortbread Cookies

One of my favorite last-minute cookie recipes to make is a good shortbread cookie. They’re simple, only require a handful of ingredients, and you can add whatever flavor you like to them to make them unique to you! I decided to add some rose petals and rose water to my shortbreads, dipped them in white chocolate and sprinkled them with pistachios and more rose petals. These rose shortbread cookies are so buttery and would be beautiful to share in a holiday cookie exchange.

I like to get my rose petals from Rose Dose Official. No, this post isn’t sponsored, I just really love their product! Their rose buds and petals are organically grown in Rose Valley, Morocco. Flowers can have pesticides use on them making them inedible, so make sure you buy organic!

I love how pretty the rose petals look mixed into the dough. Heads up, any petals on the outside of the cookie will brown a little but don’t stress, you’ll be topping them with more rose petals later. The rose shortbread cookies surprisingly do not have an overwhelming flavor of rose, it’s very subtle as most of the rose water evaporated off during the baking process.

One good tip I can share is to use a jar to dip your cookies in. Find a jar that is just wide enough to fit your cookies inside and fill it 1/4 of the way up with melted white chocolate. This way, you can easily and evenly coat your rose shortbread cookies with the chocolate.

These rose shortbread cookies will also hold up really well in the mail so if you plan on sending cookies for friends and family, definitely keep this recipe in mind!

Make sure to tag in @milkandcardamom on social media if you make these rose shortbread cookies!

  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the pistachios until they are finely chopped. Add the flour, sugar, and salt and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the dough starts to come together and becomes crumbly.
  3. Dump the dough into an 8x8 square baking pan and press gently to even out. Prick holes all over the dough with a fork.
  4. Bake until golden, about 45 minutes. When there is 5 minutes left of baking, warm the honey briefly and then brush all over the top of the shortbread, then return pan to the oven.
  5. Let cool slightly, then slice and carefully remove slices to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Gluten-Free Pistachio Shortbread Cookies with Rosewater Icing

Pistachios are by far my favourite nut. They are just so addictive that you’ll obsessively eat until the bag is empty. It’s got that aromatic after taste that keeps you coming back for more. You pair that with rosewater, and you have yourself a taste that is reminiscent of baklavas.

Shortbread cookies are another one of those cookies that I used to just loved to eat without feeling too guilty before I went gluten-free. So, I wanted to make a gluten-free version. But the gluten-free recipes that I found were just horrible they ended up with me eating a cookie shaped pile of cooked flour. Not an enjoyable experience. The gluten in the flour is the glue that makes these cookies stick together, and so the gluten-free versions just didn’t work. So, I began experimenting to find an ingredient that will replace that glutinous binding agent without changing the flavour. Agar is usually used as a vegan replacement for gelatine. It usually makes great jellies but surprisingly, it also makes for a great binder for eggs. I had some leftover agar-agar from another recipe that I wanted to try, and it works marvelously.

I gave one to my daughter, who is usually quite difficult, and she couldn’t even tell the difference from the glutinous version. So, I can gladly say that this recipe is pretty close to the original version.