Any time I get to decorate bakes and cakes with flowers is a win for me. Rose petals are so pretty and the pop of color makes these cookies really stand out. These Persian love cookies are not only beautifully decorated, but they're also absolutely delicious. Made with lemon zest, cardamom, pistachios and rose water, these shortbread cookies are tender, buttery, and highly addictive. It's hard to eat just one. Dip them in white chocolate and sprinkle with dried rose petals and chopped pistachios and they are perfect for serving with a cup of tea.
What are Persian love cookies?
My Persian love cookies are an adaptation of the Persian love cake, a popular and traditional cake that originates from the middle east. The unique and distinctive flavors of this well known cake - cardamom, lemon, rose and pistachio - were used to make my Persian love cookies. The flavors in these cookies work so well and they complement each other. The Persian love cake is also sometimes flavored with saffron, orange, various spices like cinnamon or ginger, and almond.
How to make these cookies
Sugar and butter are beaten with lemon zest. Adding the lemon zest in this step allows the oils of the lemon zest to infuse the butter/sugar mixture with a stronger lemon flavor. Vanilla and rose water are beaten in next. Rose water has a very strong rose scent which also means it has a very strong rose flavor. A little goes a very long way with these cookies, so I used ¼ teaspoon. For a more prominent rose flavor, you can add up to ½ teaspoon without making the cookies taste like rose soap. The idea is to use these strong flavored ingredients - rose water, cardamom and lemon in a balanced way and still able to taste the buttery shortbread without making the flavors too overpowering.
Flour, salt, cardamom and pistachios are added to the butter/sugar mixture and beaten until just combined. Don't over mix as this will make the cookies tough. The dough needs to chill for 30 minutes to relax the gluten. This will make them easier to roll out. I chose to use a scalloped edge cookie cutter but you can use any cutter you like. A 2 ½" cookie cutter will make 22-24 cookies.
Chill the cookies after they are cut out to firm them up a bit before baking. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown and allow them to cool before dipping them in white chocolate. Place some edible rose petals on the white chocolate and sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Let the white chocolate set up before serving.
If you make my Persian love cookies, let me know! Drop a comment or tag me on Instagram. I love seeing your creations.
For more cookie recipes, check out these posts:
Persian Love Cookies
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup (60g) confectioner's sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon rose water See notes above.
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cup (306g) all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ cup (57g) chopped pistachios
- 1 cup (170g) white chocolate chips or wafers
- Chopped pistachios, for sprinkling
- Dried rose petals, for sprinkling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the softened butter, lemon zest, and confectioners sugar and beat together on medium speed until creamy and combined.
- Beat in the vanilla and rose water.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the flour, salt, cardamom and pistachios and beat just until combined.
- Turn the dough out onto some cling film. Press the dough together, forming a disc shape, about an inch in height. Wrap the dough with the cling film and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
- Dust your work surface with flour. Roll out your cookie dough to about ¼ inch thick. Cut out the desired shapes and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheets, leaving about 2 inches in between the cookies.
- Place the cooking sheets into the refrigerator to chill for 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F while the cookies are chilling.
- Once the cookies are properly chilled, bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to turn a light golden brown.
- Let cool completely on the cookie sheets or on a cooling rack.
- Place the white chocolate into a microwave safe bowl.
- Melt the chocolate in 30 second increments in the microwave until the chocolate has melted.
- Dip the cookies into the white chocolate.
- Before the chocolate is set, sprinkle with chopped pistachios and top with edible rose petals. Let the chocolate dry, then serve.