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Rose Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

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.

Bird's eye view of rose pistachio shortbread cookies on both a plate and baking rack with a rose tea towel, cup of tea, and rose petals scattered around and "Rose Pistachio Shortbread Cookies" text

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.


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 key to this shortbread recipe is to make the dough, roll it into two logs, and then let it chill for a couple hours. Once chilled, roll the dough log in a decorative sugar/pistachio mixture. I used Bob’s Red Mill’s sparkling sugar (affiliate link) since the granules are nice a big and pretty.

Collage showing chilled dough log ready to roll in crushed pistachio and sugar blend and dough log covered in pistachios and sugar

Then slice the dough into 1/2″-thick rounds. 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 was much easier!

Bird's eye view of sliced pistachio cookies with edges covered in decorative sugar and ready for baking

Bake the cookies until they’re just starting to turn golden. I love that the pistachios and sugared edges stayed so pretty.

While the cookies were cooling, I whipped up some rose petal icing and crushed some more pistachios to top the cookies with.

Collage showing rose petals steeping in milk in a saucepan and a measuring cup filled with pistachios

Of course, the roses don’t actually turn the icing pink, but one drop of pink food coloring fixed that. Then I sprinkled some more crushed rose petals and pistachios over the icing. If you’re in the market for culinary grade rose buds/petals, I always get mine from Amazon (affiliate link). There’s so much you can do with them.

Bird's eye view close-up of a stack of rose pistachio shortbread cookies on a white plate with rose buds around

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 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.

Bird's eye view of rose pistachio shortbread cookies on a white plate with rose buds scattered around and a baking rack with more cookies in the background

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.

Head on view of rose pistachio cookies on a white plate with rose buds scattered around

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!

Bird's eye view of rose pistachio shortbread cookies on both a plate and baking rack with a rose tea towel, cup of tea, and rose petals scattered around

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.

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5 from 7 votes

Rose Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

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.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Eclectic
Keyword: Baking with Rose Petals, Pistachio Cookies, Unique Shortbread Recipes
Servings: 24 cookies
Author: Sues


  • 1 cup, plus 2 Tbsp (2 1/4 sticks) salted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (if you only have unsalted butter, add 1/4 tsp salt to the flour)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup, plus 1/3 cup crushed pistachios (plus more for topping)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup decorative sugar, for rolling
  • Rose icing (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup crushed dried culinary-grade rose petals

Rose Icing

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 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 1/2 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 1/4" 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 1/3 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.

Rose Icing

  • 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
  • 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.
  • Note that recipe cook time does not include 2 hours chilling time

14 Responses to "Rose Pistachio Shortbread Cookies"

  1. Pam Greer says:

    5 stars
    Those are so pretty! I love shortbread cookies with my tea in the afternoon! These are going on the list!

  2. Dawn - Girl Heart Food says:

    5 stars
    Shortbreads are my all-time fave cookies! Love how buttery they are. These are so pretty too! Almost, just almost, too pretty to eat 😉

  3. Claire says:

    5 stars
    These are just beyond amazing!!!!!

    I am totally in love with everything rose (and lavender) so these are perfect!

    I recently ordered a big bag of food grade rose petals (I have plans for a rose martini!!!) But now I have other ways to use my petals 😀

    Can’t wait to give this a go!

  4. rebecca says:

    5 stars
    these cookies are so so pretty! yum! also, I’m with you-how is it so hard to imagine what hot or cold weather is like when it’s not that temp where you live currently? I don’t understand it! haha. have fun on your trip

  5. Pam says:

    5 stars
    What a unique flavor combination! These are most certainly going to taste and wonderful as they look!

  6. Veena Azmanov says:

    5 stars
    Wow, these Rose Pistachio Shortbread Cookies are so cute! I would love to eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Thank you for sharing this great recipe!

  7. Claudia Lamascolo says:

    Pistachio is my flavor of anything and a fav I even love the ice cream these are calling my name!

  8. Elaine @ Dishes Delish says:

    5 stars
    I’ll take shortbread anyway I can get it! I agree plain shortbread isn’t as fun and exciting as your pistachio version! These cookies look glorious! I’ve never ventured into cooking with rose petals but I’m going to make your recipe just to see how delicious it tastes!!

  9. Albert Bevia says:

    My wife is the same as you when ever we go on vacation..lol..serisouly these cookies look stunning, such a beautiful presentation to them

  10. Victor says:

    What lovely cookies! Very creative.

  11. Sondos says:

    Just made these and they are so fragrant and delicate! The whole family raved about it. I did add two teaspoons of Rose Water to the dough and the glaze. I love the shortbread recipe, it’s very versatile. Thank you so much for such a lovely recipe.

  12. Sues says:

    @Sondos Wonderful!! Thank you so much for letting me know… I’m so glad you enjoyed them and I love the idea of the rose water addition 🙂

  13. Sophia says:

    These are so so pretty!! I think I want to bake them for Deepavali! I wonder how they keep? And does the icing harden? I live in a very warm and humid country and so I’m always a little wary of icing.

  14. Sues says:

    Hi @Sophia! The icing does harden (which makes them easy to travel with). I kept mine for about 5 days in an airtight container on my counter. Icing doesn’t tend to do so well in the fridge, but don’t think it would be a huge deal for these cookies (if it’s just too humid in your kitchen to keep them out). I hope you enjoy!

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