These vegan rose pistachio cookies are an adaptation of a recipe from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. The original recipe used rose water, pistachios and a hint of lime. The combination of rose and pistachio made me think of one of my husbands favorite Indian desserts called Laddoo. The version he likes is made by pushing a batter through a fine sieve into hot oil creating lots of tiny balls of dough. They are then soaked in a sugar syrup flavored with rose water, pistachios, almonds, saffron and cardamom and then formed into a large ball.
I decided to modify this cooking to incorporate all those other flavors found in a Laddoo. I ramped up the rose water, added cardamom, almond extract and saffron and skipped the lime. The result is a wonderful cookie that’s crispy and chewy at the same time. The flavors all meld together into a truly unique experience.
To start off I always recommend prepping your pans so they are ready to go:
First heat the rose water in a small microwave safe bowl and add the saffron. Be sure to break up the saffron strands as much as possible. Warming the rose water first will help steep the saffron, almost like a tea, so that it releases more flavor.
Next place the pistachios in a small food processor to finely chop them. If you don’t have a food processor you can use a knife to chop by hand, just make sure you get them extra fine. Place into a small bowl, you’ll be dipping each cookie into the pistachios later.
Next in a small bowl use a mesh strainer (or a sifter) to sift the flour. You can also sift in the baking powder and cardamom. Add the salt and use a whisk to mix all the dry ingredients together well.
Now you are ready to roll. Scoop out 1 tablespoon of cookie dough and roll into a ball. Drop the ball into the bowl of chopped pistachios and flatten slightly. Flip the cookie so that it’s pistachio side up and place on the parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes. The cookies may be a little soft but will firm as they cool. Store in an airtight container and they will last up to 2 weeks. These little cookies are great dunked into a hot cup of tea.
- 2 Tablespoons rose water
- ½ teaspoon saffron
- ⅓ heaping cup (2 ounces) shelled pistachios
- 1½ cups + 2 tablespoons (7.9 ounces) all-purpose flour (dip and sweep method)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cups (9 ounces) sugar
- ½ cup (4 ounces) canola oil
- 3 Tablespoons rice milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 2-4 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Heat the rose water in the microwave for about 5-10 seconds. Add the saffron, breaking up the strands as you sprinkle it into the rose water. Stir gently then set aside.
- Finely chop the pistachios using a small food processor using about 10 short pulses (keep the pulses short otherwise the pistachios will start to form a paste). If you do not have a food processor finely chop the pistachios by hand with a knife. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
- Sift the flour using a mesh strainer, or sifter, along with the baking powder and cardamom into a small bowl. Add the salt and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl combined the sugar, canola oil, rice milk and extracts. Whisk well then add the cornstarch. Mix until smooth.
- Add the dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix until all the flour has been evenly incorporated. It should form a soft dough.
- Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough and roll into a ball. Drop the ball into the bowl of chopped pistachios and flatten slightly. Place pistachio side up onto the prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake the cookies at 350 for 12-14 minutes. They should still be slightly soft, but will firm up as they cool.
- Allow to cool on the pan for about 5-10 minutes then move to a cooling rack. Cool completely then store in an airtight container for up to a week.