Rose Water Cookies

How exactly has it been a week since my last post? I swear I’ve been cooking and baking and all that jazz….I just haven’t been blogging. Ah well, c’est la vie. I’ll try to be better. Let’s get to it, shall we?

I have a confession to make. I’ve lived in New York City for nearly 8 years. I’ve worked in flatiron for a year and a half. I have have a ginormous spice cabinet and am always on the hunt for one strange ingredient or another. And I’ve never been to Kalustyan’s. There, I said it. This place, this amazing place to which all NYC foodies are acquainted, at which you can find anything your little gluttonous heart desires; I just never made it.

I finally went this past week and holyzomgcrap you guys! What has taken me so long!?  This place is like mecca for everything from artisanal bitters to flavored vinegars to curries. I always thought it was just a big spice store, but it is so much more than that! Not only did they have the rose water I was looking for, but they had about 20 different kinds. Not knowing a lick about the quality of rose water, I grabbed a mid-priced bottle and fled. But not before finding about 6 other items that I desperately needed. Oh, this place could be dangerous.

I saw these rosewater cookies over on From Donuts to Delirium and couldn’t get them out of my head. They looked so cute all sandwiched and rosy. I just needed to make them! The plan was for Valentine’s Day….but that came and went. Then I was going to make them as soon as I found rose water…2 months later, here we are.

These cookies are super simple. Somewhere between a shortbread and a sugar cookie, the dough is a snap to make. The rose is subtle subtle, which is so nice since too much rose makes things taste like perfume or soap. The rose cream cheese frosting adds a tang that the cookies need. The original recipe was for sandwich cookies. I got lazy and just flat-out frosted them. It was a good decision, I think; I liked the cookie to cream cheese ratio. More cream cheese frosting is NEVER a bad thing. On day 1, these cookies were crisp and buttery. By day 2, they were soft through and through like those supermarket sugar cookies with the bright, perfectly round cap of icing (but way more sophisticated in flavor). I didn’t mind that, but if you’re adverse to soft cookies, plan to serve these the day you make them.

Rose Water Cookies

Adapted from From Donuts to Delirium, who adapted from Martha Stewart. Makes ~24 cookies


1 3/4 c plus 2 T all-purpose flour
2 T cornstarch
1/4 t salt
3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c powdered sugar, sifted, plus more for dusting
3 T rose water

For the Rose Water-Cream Cheese Frosting:

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
3 T rose water

  • In an electric mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar until pale and fluffy
  • Add the rose water and mix until combined
  • In a large bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch and salt
  • Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until just combined
  • Divide the dough in half, form into disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 1 hour
  • Heat oven to 350°F
  • Roll disks to 1/8″ thickness; chill 15 min
  • Cut cookies to desired size and place on parchment-lined baking sheet
  • Bake until just starting to brown, ~15 min
  • Transfer to cooling racks and cool completely
  • While the cookies bake, make the frosting:
  • In a small bowl, whip the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth
  • Add the rose water and stir until smooth
  • Spread the cooled cookies with the frosting and devour


7 thoughts on “Rose Water Cookies

  1. Those are so cute! I have no idea what flavoring the rose water would give the cookies but now I’m craving one 😦

  2. Those cookies are beautiful and it’s so nice to know other bloggers “slack off”, not that I think you have but you seem to think you have. Sometimes, we’re just busy or uninspired…or whatever. Rose water and I are frenemies I have decided. I am now very curious if my rose water is of the good quality kind or the bad quality kind. In my cookies, I adored them, but in my cake I loathed it and I only used a teaspoon! Your cookies sound marvelous and I totally trust your judgement and tastebuds Calie.

  3. I have these in the oven as I type this… The dough was yummy and the consistency is just heavenly. I added 1/4 tsp vanilla bean – I love seeing those tiny brown flecks in my pastries. I’ll let y’all know how they turned out, they smell scrumptuous so far!

  4. Making these for the rose club meeting in The Villages, Fl. It is their 7th year!. Made them a year ago for my daughter who loves rosewater cookies but could never get the flavor. A real hit!
    Thanks for sharing!

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