- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/3 tsp rosewater
- 2 cups flour
- ½ cup pistachios, chopped
- 2 tbsp. dried rose petals, chopped finely
Tradition dictates we give red roses on Valentine’s Day. But the flower’s symbolic meaning has shifted from the original love, passion, and romance to that of globalization, the commodification of love, and the uninspired clichés surrounding the holiday as it’s thought of today. Instead, we say go with a gift that carries the flower’s telltale beauty, aroma, and meaning—but through a medium that’s a hundred times more sweet.
Taking a page from traditional Middle Eastern confections, we incorporate the flower’s flavors into a sophisticated cookie that’s buttery, crumbly, and not too sweet. The cookie itself is easy to make, similar in method to icebox (a.k.a. “slice-and-bake”) cookies that entail making dough, rolling it into logs, and chilling or freezing them for a period of time before slicing into rounds and baking away. What makes this cookie genre especially great is that you can easily make the dough ahead of time and store it in the freezer. Anytime the occasion calls for it—be it a sudden relationship spat or a midnight craving—freshly-baked cookies are just a few minutes of slicing and baking away.
Rose-flavored desserts can be tricky; as anyone who’s had a box of bad lokum will attest to, using too much of the said flavor risks swinging into air freshener territory. We use a combination of rose water and dried rose petals (both available at specialty grocery stores, e.g. Assad’s) in just-right amounts for a subtle but discernible dose of rose that works wonders with the creamy butter in the background. And for a welcome crunch and distinctive but harmonious nuttiness, we threw in a generous smattering of pistachios whose pretty green hue really pops against the rose-studded cookie. They’re good with milk, better with tea, but ultimately best when shared with the one(s) you love.