Vanilla Rose Shortbread is certainly an involved dessert but the end result is worth it! The beauty of these cookies and the delightful taste of rose petals bring pure magic to this dessert.
When identifying rose, note that all wild species are edible. There are many different species of rose in North America but they all have fairly similar descriptions. Rose tend to grow as a shrub in dense thickets as they reproduce through seeds and suckering. Wild rose flowers have 5 petals with many stamens. The flowers are typically pink to soft white in color. The deciduous leaves are oddly-pinnately compound with varying number of leaflets, most common being three, five, or seven leaflets. The stem, and often the leaf ribs, are covered in varying amounts of pickles or thorns. You’ll want to avoid rose that have been purchased by a florist or garden center as they often contain high amounts of pesticides. Luckily, this recipe calls for dried rose petals, which can be easily purchased online if wild rose are not available.
Vanilla Rose Shortbread – recipe from Seasons and Suppers
1 cup softened butter
1 ½ T edible dried roses (powdered)
¾ cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup confectioners sugar
½ t vanilla extract
3 T rose water (steep ½ cup hot water + 2 T rose petals for 1+ hour) or use plain ol’ water but you’ll be missing out on the delicious rose flavor
¼ cup dried rose petals
What to do
- In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or in a bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter for 15-20 seconds, then add the dried roses and mix to combine. Add icing sugar vanilla and salt and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in flour just until combined.
- Press dough into a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom (or alternately, a 9-inch round cake pan, lining the bottom with a round of parchment paper.) Flatten dough with the palm of your hand to make a smooth surface. Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the dough in to 16 wedges. Prick each wedge with a fork twice. Refrigerate pan with dough until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300 F.
- Bake cookies in preheated oven until firm and pale golden, about 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then, using a sharp knife, cut through the score lines you made before baking, wiping off the blade between each cut. Allow to cool completely in the pan.
- Meanwhile, prepare glaze by whisking together the vanilla extract and rose water so it is well incorporated. Add to the icing sugar and stir well until smooth. Tip: Be sure to use a bowl that will allow you to dip the cookies in flat from end to end, so it should be at least 5-inches wide. That said, don’t use too big a bowl or your glaze will be too thin a layer and you may bottom-out when you dip).
- Prepare your dried roses by taking about half of them and breaking them into smaller bits with your fingers. Keep separate from your larger dried rose pieces and set aside.
- Remove cookies from pan to a rack. Holding a cookie by the sides, dip the top of the cookie into the glaze to coat. Hold point side down and allow the excess to drip off. Gently remove any drip at the point end by running it along the edge of the bowl. Place on to rack. Once you’ve done about 4 wedges, sprinkle those ones with some of the edible roses before the glaze sets to much that they won’t stick. I like to sprinkle a bit of the smaller stuff first, sprinkling over the outer 2/3 of the wedge (leaving the narrow end clear). Then sprinkle some of the larger pieces at the wide end. Repeat until you have glazed and sprinkled all the cookies.
- Allow to stand until the glaze is set, about 1 hour. Store in a flat even layer in an airtight container.