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 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.
Pistachios are native to the Middle East. Archaeologists believe that they might date as far back as 7,000 B.C. Archaeologists also believe that the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar had pistachio trees planted in his famous hanging gardens.
Pistachios were also popular throughout the Roman Empire. Their long life made them an indispensable food item to take on long journeys. They were especially popular with traders traveling the Silk Road and explorers.
In Iran, pistachios are called “the smiling nut” and in China, they are referred to as the “happy nut”. I know eating them makes me happy. I guess I never really thought about it, but eating pistachios makes me smile.
They are so delicious. That being said, I hope my pistachio rosewater cookies make you smile. By the way, if you crumble a couple of pistachio rosewater cookies over vanilla ice cream you wont be disappointed, just saying.
You can read a short history of rosewater in my recipe for Rosewater Lemonade. You can purchase rosewater at most groceries stores with an ethnic food section or at a Middle Eastern market. I am fortunate enough to have two Wegman’s stores nearby, and they carry it in their Indian food section.
Pistachio Rosewater Cookies
Here is a simple recipe for pistachio rosewater cookies. These an easy to make Middle Eastern style shortbread cookie with exotic flavors.
- In a food processor place flour, pistachios, powdered sugar and salt. Pulse a few times until well blended.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until the mixture begins to form a ball.
- Remove from food processor and place on a lightly floured surface. Bring together into a large ball.
- Cut ball into two equal parts.
- Roll out each part into a 9" log. Wrap with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325.
- Cut cookies into 1/2 inch circles and bake approximately 12-15 minutes or until they appear golden brown on the edge.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar after cool.