Rose Pistachio Shortbread Cookies take the best ever shortbread cookie recipe and add a fresh twist with crushed pistachio nuts and a pink rose petal icing. They're the perfect cookie for summer parties or for simply enjoying with your afternoon coffee or tea!
I'm pretty sure I am the worst trip prepper in the world. It doesn't matter how long I have to prepare, if I'm going on vacation or on a work trip, I 100% know I'll be up until 1:00 a.m. the night before, freaking out and frantically shoving items into my suitcase (inevitably causing it to weigh more than 50 lbs. with tons of ridiculous clothing I have no need for).
It seems crazy, but I'm just not sure I'll ever change. Despite the fact that I'm trying to get ready for a trip at the end of this week, I'm also currently working to tackle four recipes before I go.
And write three blog posts. And clean my entire house from top to bottom (to be fair, we have some friends staying with our pup, so obviously things need to be clean).
And intermittently crying over the fact I'm leaving my dog. And also trying to figure out how to dress for 90 degree weather when it's basically been hovering around 42 degrees here in Boston.
BUT. It's only Tuesday. Which means I have 2.5 full days to get ready. So, there's still a slight chance that if I put my mind to it, I can go to bed at a normal time on Thursday night and wake up bright and early Friday morning, bags fully packed, house cleaned, and pup content with goodbye cuddles and treats.
Wish me luck. In the meantime, I made these cookies and am hoping they can power me through the prepping process.
I'm sure by now, many of you have heard of Alison Roman's famous salted chocolate chunk shortbread cookies. I made them a few months ago (funfetti style!) and legit haven't been able to get them out of my mind since.
So, I decided to take the basis of the shortbread recipe and give it a bit of a spring twist with pistachios and rose petal icing. If you know me, you know I love all things chocolate, but I didn't even miss it in these rose pistachio shortbread cookies; that's how good they are.
Since initially writing this post, I've made several other shortbread cookies, including these Strawberry Lemonade Shortbread Cookies, Margarita Shortbread Cookies, and Gingerbread Shortbread Cookies.
There are a few items you'll need to make these cookies, the most important of which is culinary-grade dried rose petals. There are tons of options of where you can purchase them, but I've used these often and recommend them.
For the pistachios, I generally use lightly salted. Using salted will obviously add more salt to these cookies, but that's not a bad thing if you like a delicious salty shortbread! Buying them without shells will make these cookies much easier!
You also may not have coarse sugar in your pantry. This is also known as decorative sugar and doesn't melt into your baked goods, so it looks nice on the finished cookies.
Lastly, you'll need a little pink food coloring if you want to make your icing pink (you can leave it natural if you prefer). I use the pink from Wilton's Color Right set (which I think is the best food coloring!)
How to Make Rose Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
The key to this shortbread recipe is to make sure you give the dough time to chill. Otherwise, it's a pretty easy recipe!
To make the dough, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
Note that in her recipe, Alison recommends salted butter for the cookies, but if you don't have any (I almost never buy salted butter), you can simply add a little salt to the batter.
The type of pistachio you use may effect salt levels, too. I generally like to use lightly salted pistachios for these cookies.
Scrape sides of bowl with a spatula and while mixer is running on low speed, slowly add flour and ½ cup crushed pistachios and beat to just blend, taking care not to over-mix.
Divide dough in half and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold plastic wrap over dough to completely cover and use your hands to roll the dough into a smooth log, about 2" or 2 ¼" in diameter.
Repeat with second half of dough and then place in fridge to chill until firm, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix together decorative sugar (I like to use Bob's Red Mill's sparkling sugar since the granules are nice a big and pretty) and remaining ⅓ cup crushed pistachios.
Taking one dough log out of the fridge at a time, brush the outside of each log with egg wash and roll in decorative sugar and crushed pistachios.
Slice each log into ½"-thick rounds and arrange on prepared baking sheet about 1" apart.
The first time I made Alison's recipe, the slicing was a little tough because there were so many chocolate chunks to cut through. But without chocolate chunks, the slicing is much easier!
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until edges are just beginning to turn golden. Let cool slightly on pan before moving to wire racks to cool completely before icing.
I love that the pistachios and sugared edges stayed so pretty.
You can obviously eat the cookies as is... But I highly recommend topping with icing and more crushed pistachios!
How to Make Rose Petal icing
While the cookies are cooling, you can whip up the rose petal icing. If you're going to make rose cookies, you definitely need a rose icing, right??
If you're in the market for culinary grade rose buds/petals, I always get mine here (affiliate link). There's so much you can do with them.
To make it, you need to first infuse the milk with rose petals. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring milk and rose petals to just a boil. Remove saucepan from heat and let roses steep in milk for about 10 minutes.
Strain and discard roses. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
Then, place 6 Tbsp of the rose milk mixture into a medium bowl and whisk in confectioners' sugar until smooth. For a thinner icing, add more rose milk, 1 tsp at a time.
Of course, the roses don't actually turn the icing pink, but one drop of pink food coloring will fix that.
Then sprinkle more crushed rose petals and pistachios over the icing.
And a pretty little tea cookie is born! Normally, I am not crazy about shortbread cookies at all and "tea cookies," sound so boring, but omg these rose cookies were so good.
I could happily eat about a million of them. While shortbread alone may not be super exciting, a nice salty pistachio shortbread cookie is very exciting. Obviously the same goes for chocolate chunk shortbread, but sometimes you need to switch things up and every once in a while, I need a little chocolate break.
In fact, Chris actually told me these rose pistachio shortbread cookies are his favorite cookie of all the cookies I've ever made.
And that, my friends, is a pretty big compliment. Of course, I have Alison Roman to thank for the genius shortbread recipe, which is amazingly versatile.
I mean, think about all of the crazy varieties of shortbread cookies you could make with this base. I have about 35 ideas in my head that I want to bake immediately.
And since I have a trip to prepare for, it feels like the perfect time to get in the kitchen and start baking. Ha!
More Cookie Recipes
If you're looking for a distraction from getting actual work and/or packing done, too, I've got plenty more cookie recipes for you to spend your time on! Here are some of my favorites:
- Margarita Shortbread Cookies
- Fruity Pebbles Cookies
- Lavender Lemon Cookies
- Banana Split Cookies
- Strawberry Lemonade Shortbread Cookies
- Grapefruit Crinkle Cookies
- Buttered Popcorn Cookies
- Coconut Sugar Cookies
- Ultimate Monster Cookies (from Butternut Bakery)
- Birthday Cake Cookies (from Brownie Bites)
But for now, excuse me while I pour a cup of "stress relief" tea and eat a few more rose pistachio shortbread cookies. Maybe if I wait long enough, my suitcase will pack itself (please!!!).
What's your idea of a dream shortbread cookie? Have you made Alison Roman's recipe yet?
If you're looking for a fun drink to serve these rose pistachio shortbread cookies with, consider this English Rose Cocktail. For another delicious shortbread cookie, try my Strawberry Lemonade Shortbread Cookies. I also love these Lemon Poppyseed Shortbread Cookies from Dinner Then Dessert.
Rose Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup, plus 2 Tbsp (2 ¼ sticks) salted butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch pieces (if you only have unsalted butter, add ¼ tsp salt to the flour)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup, plus ⅓ cup crushed pistachios (plus more for topping)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup decorative sugar, for rolling
- Rose icing (recipe below)
- ¼ cup crushed dried culinary-grade rose petals
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 ½ Tbsp dried culinary-grade rose buds/petals
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1-2 drops pink food coloring
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
- Scrape sides of bowl with a spatula and while mixer is running on low speed, slowly add flour and ½ cup crushed pistachios and beat to just blend, taking care not to over-mix.
- Divide dough in half and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold plastic wrap over dough to completely cover and use your hands to roll the dough into a smooth log, about 2" or 2 ¼" in diameter. Repeat with second half of dough and then place in fridge to chill until firm, about 2 hours.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix together decorative sugar and remaining ⅓ cup crushed pistachios. Taking one dough log out of the fridge at a time, brush the outside of each log with egg wash and roll in decorative sugar and crushed pistachios.
- Slice each log into ½"-thick rounds and arrange on prepared baking sheet about 1" apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until edges are just beginning to turn golden. Let cool slightly on pan before moving to wire racks to cool completely before icing.
- Dip cooled cookies in rose icing and sprinkle on additional crumbled pistachios and crushed rose petals. Let icing harden before serving.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring milk and rose petals to just a boil.
- Remove saucepan from heat and let roses steep in milk for about 10 minutes.
- Strain and discard roses. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
- Place 6 Tbsp of the rose milk mixture into a medium bowl and whisk in confectioners' sugar until smooth. For a thinner icing, add more rose milk, 1 tsp at a time.
- Add pink food coloring until you reach desired shade.
- Recipe slightly adapted from Alison Roman
- I usually use lightly salted pistachios for these cookies, but no-salt and salted are also fine. Of course, the saltiness of the cookie will be effected a bit depending on which you use, but all are still delicious! If you prefer not to have a very salty cookie, either use no-salt or leave salt out of batter.
- Cookie dough can be made and kept chilled up to one week in advance. It can also be frozen for one month in advance of baking.
View Web Story for this recipe.