Rose and Pistachio Cookie Bars

rose cookies, rose biscuits, rose and pistachio, rose and pistachio dessert, pistachio cookies, persian flavored cookies

Rose and Pistachio Cookie Bars

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.

rosewater and pistachios

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 confitRose 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.

cookie crust ingredientscookie crust


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.

cookie crust

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.  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.

rose cookies, pistachio cookies, rose and pistachio cookies


Then I popped them in the oven and baked for about 15 additional minutes.

rose pistachio barsOnce they had time to cool, I sprinkled a thin layer of powdered sugar over the top and served them with a steaming hot glass of chai!  Delicious!

rose and pistachio cookies, rose cookies


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)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar.  Using a pastry blender or fork cut in butter and shortening.  Once everything is combined, pat crust onto the bottom of an ungreased pan (I use a 1/4 sheet).
Bake until the cookie crust begins to lightly brown–about 17 minutes.
  • 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!).

Rose and Pistachio Bars

Rose and Pistachio Bars



34 thoughts on “Rose and Pistachio Cookie Bars

  1. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)

    Oh my goodness, this is genius! I love those flavors together, and your bars look so tempting and colorful.

    I’m definitely bookmarking this recipe to try! (I might even try it with my rhubarb blood orange ginger jam, since it’s the same color, and I have rose water at home, but not rose preserves.)

    1. Shari Post author

      Allison, rhubarb blood orange ginger jam sounds amazing!!! Definitely try these bars with your jam, I’m sure they’ll be incredible!

  2. limeandbarley

    These sound lovely. I bet they’re much less heavy than basically all other cookies out there. You could almost mistake them for… dare I say it… healthy?

  3. Nanna

    Fabulous! I am so pleased I happened upon your blog today 🙂 These rose and pistachio cookie bars are simply delightful- such lovely Princess food 😉

  4. ovenandapron

    How beautiful!! I’ve never tried rose confit or rose jam before, but I love pistachios and this might be just the thing to introduce me to things beyond rosewater!

  5. Clark

    Just stumbled on your blog. Wow! Will definitely try some recipes. Been trying to cook Indian (Punjabi style I guess) for several years. Anyway, are the pistachios raw, roasted, salted? I think I happen to have some rose jam and this recipe sounds great!

    1. clark

      Have made them twice, and both times a hit. I think I added more rose water the second batch to give them a little more rose pop. They have definitely entered my repertoire.
      thanks for sharing

  6. eatmemeal

    Oh my goodness, I have never heard of cooking with rose! Sounds divine and luxurious. Can you find it at the regular grocery store? I love the idea of using rose jelly for something.

    1. Shari Post author

      It can be a little difficult to find. I’ve successfully found it at the Indian Grocer (although I had to travel to Minneapolis for that…Rochester’s Indian market doesn’t carry it).

      I’ve also found it at a small gourmet shop here in Rochester. If you can’t find it locally, amazon might be the best option.


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