Honeyed Pistachio, Rosewater, & Lime Shortbread


(makes two dozen large cookies)

3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. honey
2 T lime juice
1 T lime zest
1 T rosewater
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 t. pistachio extract
3/4 t. kosher salt
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 c. chopped pistachios
1/4 c. rose petals
powdered sugar, edible rose petals for decorating

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Cream together the butter, sugar, and honey; add the lime juice, lime zest, rosewater, vanilla, and pistachio extract. Add salt and mix, then add flour and mix on low until dough forms. Stir in pistachios and rose petals.

 

3. Turn out dough onto floured board and roll to 1/2″ thick. Cover in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. NOTE: Can be kept chilled at this point for several days, covered in plastic wrap, and then rolled, cut, and baked fresh for maximum scent and fresh taste on serving.

4. Remove from fridge and cut with cookie cutter (or roll into log and cut slices). Chill individual cookies again for 10 more minutes (to reduce spreading). Place cookies on an ungreased baking sheet (I like the insulated ones for even baking).

 

5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges begin to brown, then remove to wire rack to cool.

6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and rose petals to decorate. Delicious with tea!

OPTIONAL: Some people like to use a royal icing on their shortbread at this stage, which I admit, may be even prettier, esp. sprinkled with additional rose petals and chopped cashews. But I tried it, and I feel that a sweet icing actually detracts from the subtly fragrant buttery glory of the shortbread. If you must, then try adding a teaspoon of lime juice to the icing, which will enhance the overall flavors.

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