I’ve had the idea for these cookie bars for quite awhile. In fact, it’s a recipe that’s been sitting in the recesses of my mind, begging to be created.
The idea came to me one night while I was reading. For some reason all my best recipe ideas have popped up when I’m relaxing and enjoying someone else’s writing. I’m not quite sure what triggered the thought, but at that moment I decided I needed to combine the flavors of rose and pistachio in a cookie.
It had to be done.
It’s no secret that I love pistachios. I use them quite often and have even made a pizza featuring the gorgeous green nut (Caramelized Onion, Purple Potato and Pistachio Pizza). What might not be so apparent is my love of rose.
Rose has such a delicate flavor, but is also quite distinctive. It’s perfect in desserts and equally as good added to a delicious biryani.
For this recipe I used both rose water and a jar of rose confit. Rose jam would have been wonderful, but I chose the rose confit because it’s been sitting in my pantry forever, unused. And, it’s basically the same thing.
Rose confit can be purchased from gourmet food stores–you’ll have to check your area–or purchased online. Alternatively, rose jam can commonly be bought at your local Middle Eastern market or also purchased online. You could even make it yourself!
These bars are really simple to make. They’re also super quick to put together.
I started by throwing some ingredients in a bowl to form the bottom layer.
Butter, flour, powdered sugar, cardamom powder and vegetable shortening are crumbled together to create a delicious cookie crust.
The crust is then pre-baked for about 10 or 12 minutes, just until it starts to take on a little color and puff up a bit.
While the crust is baking, I whip together the filling. Because I don’t like to do dishes, I use the same bowl that the crust was made in.
I also whip in a drop of hot pink food coloring. This is completely optional. I choose to use it because the rose confit, although beautiful, doesn’t impart a lot of color to the cookies. The egg yolk takes over and the bars end up looking more like lemon bars than rose bars.
I also chopped a handful of pistachios.
Once the crust is done cooking–and while it’s still piping hot–dump the filling over the crust and toss on the chopped pistachios.
Then I popped them in the oven and baked for about 15 additional minutes.
Rose and Pistachio Cookie Bars
Makes 16-20 large bars or 30-36 small bars
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup, plus 2 tbsp. butter, softened
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder (optional)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup rose preserves (confit, jam or jelly is fine)
- 1 tsp. rose water
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1/2 c. pistachios–cut into small chunks
- drop of pink food color, optional
In a large bowl (I use the same one I used for making the crust), whisk together egg, sugar, and preserves. Add butter, food coloring (if using) and rose water and continue whisking until everything is combined. Spread the mixture over the hot cookie crust and sprinkle with pistachios.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes–until the topping is set but not browned or dry. Allow to cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut bars into squares (a plastic knife works best!).