Looking for a unique twist on traditional shortbread cookies? Look no further than these rose and cardamom shortbread cookies! The combination of rose and cardamom adds a delicate floral flavor to the buttery shortbread, making them the perfect treat for any occasion.
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Baking is one of my favorite pastimes, and I’m always on the lookout for new ways to incorporate wild foraged ingredients into my recipes. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with dried rose petals, which add a delicate floral flavor and aroma to baked goods. In this recipe for rose and cardamom shortbread cookies, I combine the fragrant petals of several varieties of dried foraged rose with the warm, spicy notes of cardamom for a delicious and sophisticated treat. If you’re interested in foraging for your own rose petals, keep reading for my tips on the best roses to use and how to harvest them safely.
Are all Roses Edible?
Yes! Roses are a wonderful dietary inclusion, as all varieties of roses are easy to forage and can be consumed. Although some types may be more appropriate for culinary purposes, all can be found in a range of environments, from meadows to woodlands. They are easy to preserve through drying and are high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and vitamin C, which make them both delicious and nutritious. No matter if you’re a novice or an experienced forager, edible roses are a great starting point.
ARE SOME ROSES BETTER FOR EATING THAN OTHERS?
Yes, there are some varieties of roses that are better suited for culinary use than others. Here are a few types of roses that are commonly used in cooking and baking:
- Damask Roses (Rosa × damascena): Damask roses are one of the most popular types of roses used in cooking. They have a strong fragrance and a sweet, slightly spicy flavor that pairs well with a variety of ingredients.
Centifolia Roses (Rosa × centifolia): Centifolia roses, also known as cabbage roses, have a delicate fragrance and a slightly fruity flavor that makes them a popular choice for desserts and pastries.
Rugosa Roses (Rosa rugosa): Rugosa roses have a strong, fruity fragrance and a slightly tart flavor that makes them a popular choice for jams and jellies.
Dog Roses (Rosa canina): The petals and leaves of dog rose can be brewed for tea. The flowers make a delicious syrup, and can be eaten in salads or candied or preserved in vinegar, honey, and brandy.
Where to Buy Roses to eat?
If you don’t have access to local or homegrown herbs, I highly recommend purchasing them from Mountain Rose Herbs. They are my favorite place to buy high-quality, organic dried herbs and herbal products. As a company they believe in people, plants, and planet over profit and only ever source their herbs ethically and sustainably. It is through this ethical, responsible sourcing, that they are able to offer one of the largest selections of certified organic herbs, spices, and botanicals in North America.
HOW DO YOU SAFELY FORAGE AND HARVEST ROSES FOR EATING?
Foraging and harvesting roses for culinary use requires a bit of care and attention to ensure that the roses are safe to eat. Here are some tips for safely foraging and harvesting roses:
Choose a safe location: When foraging for roses, choose a location that is free from pollutants such as exhaust fumes or pesticides. Avoid foraging near busy roads or areas where chemicals may have been used.
Identify the right type of rose: As mentioned earlier, there are certain types of roses that are better suited for culinary use. Make sure you can properly identify the type of rose you want to use and confirm that it is safe for consumption.
Harvest at the right time: Harvest rose petals when they are fully open and at their most fragrant. This is usually in the morning or evening, when the roses have had time to cool down after the heat of the day.
Use clean tools: Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to harvest the rose petals. This will help prevent contamination and damage to the plant.
Remove the stamen and pistil if visible (like on dog roses): Before using the petals, make sure to remove the stamen and pistil, as they can be bitter and unpleasant to eat.
Wash the petals: Rinse the petals under cool running water to remove any dirt or debris.
By following these tips, you can safely and effectively forage and harvest roses for culinary use. Remember to always be respectful of the environment and the plants you are harvesting from, and never take more than you need. Read more about foraging sustainably here: 9 Basic Principles of Ethical Wildcrafting for Beginners
Making Rose and Cardamom Shortbread
Making rose and cardamom shortbread cookies is a brilliant and simple way to enjoy those foraged roses. These cookies are not only delicious but also a feast for the eyes with their delicate speckled color and floral aroma. To make these cookies, you’ll only need a few simple ingredients such as flour, sugar, butter, rose petals, salt, ground cardamom, and rosewater which you can easily make yourself.
Step 1. Mix the dry ingredients.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, rose petals, cardamom, and salt. Set aside.
Step 2. Cream the butter and sugar.
Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Then beat in the rosewater.
Step 3. Combine the wet and dry
Gradually mix together the flour mixture and the creamed butter and sugar mixture.
Step 4. Form the dough into a disk
Shape the rose and cardamom shortbread dough into a disc, wrap with plastic, and chill for at least two hours and up to two days.
Step 5. Roll the dough and cut out cookies
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a ¼-inch thickness. Use a 2-inch cookie cutter or a glass to cut out circles and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Gather and re-roll any scraps.
Step 6. Bake
Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the edges of the rose and cardamom shortbread cookies are just barely starting to color. Cool on wire racks. Enjoy!
A Note on Making Your Own Rosewater
This rose and cardamom shortbread recipe calls for making your own rosewater, which couldn’t be easier. But first, what is rosewater? Rosewater is a fragrant liquid that is used in cooking, skincare, and aromatherapy. It is made by steeping rose petals in water and then distilling the liquid to extract the essential oils and fragrances.
To make rosewater, place fresh or dried petals in a small pan and add just enough distilled water to cover them. Heat the pan on low heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the petals have lost their color and the water has taken on a rich pink hue, remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a clean container. You can store the rosewater in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Rose and Cardamom Shortbread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons dried rose petals
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup softened unsalted butter
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons rosewater
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour, rose petals, cardamom, and salt. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy.
- Beat in the rosewater and then gradually mix in the flour mixture.
- Shape the dough into a disc, wrap with plastic, and chill for at least two hours and up to two days.
- To bake, preheat oven to 300°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a ¼-inch thickness. Use a 2-inch cookie cutter to cut out circles and place on baking sheets. Gather and reroll any scraps.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are just barely starting to color. Cool on wire racks.
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