I love the scent of roses, the smell is soft and delicate. One of my favorite ingredients in baking is rose water which lends a soft and delicate flavor to your baked goods. These Tender Rose Petal Shortbreads have just that hint of rose flavor baked inside and the crushed rose petal toppings add color, and a bit of floral essence to these pretty and tender cookies. Since these shortbreads are made with rice flour they are gluten-free.
Simple and Sophisticated Shortbread Cookies
Over the years the scent of roses seems to have gone away which is sad, after all, roses are supposed to smell like roses; right! In order to have the perfect rose that lasts longer, growers have cultivated the scent out of the rose. So I am curious when you get roses do you smell them? I do, and sometimes I get some that have the most subtle scent which is glorious.
The first time I was introduced to rose water was at a church function with my grandma. I remember walking into the decorated church hall with rose bouquets on the tables and the smell was mesmerizing to me. But the best part was dessert. When they brought out the dessert I knew this was the most extravagant thing I had ever eaten. In a stemmed glass dish was a strawberry rose water mousse and on top sat a single red rose petal. You must understand, I wasn’t in some big city being served such a delectable treat, I was in Losantville, Indiana, population 500, being served by church ladies. Needless to say, I was impressed, and over 50 years later the memory is still so fresh in my mind. Bless you, grandma.
This page may contain affiliate links, please see my full disclosure policy for details.
How to use rose water
Not familiar with rose water? It combines well with fruits, especially strawberries when it is served by church ladies, and it does wonders in a sorbet. The flavor is mild and adds just a hint of rose. Try it in your teas and lemonade and, rose water is a delightful addition to milk-based desserts. I know you are thinking why buy a whole bottle of rose water for one recipe, well I’m here to tell you there are lots of uses for rose water, the list can be endless. You can buy rose water here. I’ll share some uses later.
Ingredients to make Rose Petal Shortbread Cookies
- Rice Flour
- Powdered Sugar
- Rose Water
- Rose Petals
Let’s talk about the cookie. When I made these shortbread’s I happened to have little rosebuds that I bought from a tea shop in San Francisco. We brew the rosebuds for tea, and occasionally I use these for recipes. You can buy these rosebuds from Vital Tea Leaf.
You can also get just culinary rose petals here. All other kinds of topping can be used for these dainty little cookies from coarse sugar, colored icing, white chocolate or maybe just put a pretty stamp on top. When you make the cookies, you get to decide what goes on top.
How to make shortbread cookies with rose petals
The beauty of making shortbread cookies is they contain a few ingredients.
- Mix the butter and sugar together until this mixture gets nice and fluffy
- Add the egg and rose water and beat again until totally combined
- With the mixer on low add the flour and powdered sugar to create a stiff dough
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill
- Roll the shortbread dough into your desired shape then sprinkle on the crushed rose petals
- Now you get to bake these buttery, sweet cookies
Adding the rose petals ~ so pretty
How to put the rose petals on top of the dough
Ohh, now the fun starts. I grind the rose petals in my coffee grinder and then sprinkle the petals on top of the dough. You can also use your rolling pin or your hands to crush the rose petals. To get the petals to stick to the dough I gently used the rolling pin and rolled them slightly into the dough.
You can roll and cut the dough any way you want but I like to make a rectangle to cut the shortbread into thick strips and there is no wastage or rerolling of the dough. Gotta love that, right? I cut the dough down the center to make 2 1/2 inch x 1inch long slices. This way they bake nice and sturdy.
Items I use to make these cookies plus some tea ~
Make sure to buy the culinary rose petals for cooking and baking to ensure quality.
I find I use my coffee grinder for spices more than I do coffee.
Rose water for desserts and home use.
Drinking Rose Petal Black Tea with these sweet cookies is a perfect pairing.
Rose Petal Cookie Recipe
Rose Petal Shortbread
- Mix the rice flour, powdered sugar, and cardamom together in a bowl.
- Beat the sugar and butter together until smooth with a mixer
- Beat in the egg and rose water until blended.
- With the mixer on low beat in the flour mixture to create a stiff dough
- Remove dough from bowl and place on wax paper or plastic wrap; wrap tight and chill for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees
- Remove dough from wrap and roll on a floured board to the shape you choose. You can also use a cookie scoop and roll into balls then flatten.
- If using the dried rose petals - remove individual petals and crush using your hands or do a quick grind in a coffee grinder.
- Sprinkle the rose petals over your rolled dough and then press into the dough so the petals stick better.
- Cut dough into your desired shapes.
- Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 20 - 25 minutes or until bottoms are golden.
These Rose Petal Shortbread cookies are melt in your mouth tender and look so pretty with the rose petals and have just a hint of rose flavoring.
Of course, I had to make a pot of tea for my cookies, but pairing a rose’ wine would be a divine treat too!
Sweet Shortbreads with Rose Petals
If you remember reading above I talked about other uses for rosewater. Besides these wonderful cookies, what else can rose water be used for?
- Use Rosewater on your face and in your hair. It’s a great toner and hair rinse.
- Use Rosewater as a perfume.
- Scent your sheets with Rosewater before you go to bed and you will have a peaceful sleep. Just put rosewater in a spray bottle and mist your sheets.
- Roses are anti-inflammatory to use to treat skin conditions
- Use with cakes, cookies, custards, fruits and all kinds of desserts.
- Make some soap.
I hope you try this easy and delicious Rose Petal Shortbread recipe to taste the essence of rose water. Are you already using rosewater? Leave me a comment and tell me your uses.
Blessings to you and all the church ladies out there that bake and cook so many delicious desserts.