These Lemon Rose Water Cookies with white chocolate are rich, buttery and delicious! The recipe comes together easily. They are fresh tasting and slightly floral, and make the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day or anytime of the year.
These Lemon Rose Water Cookies are full of bright lemon flavor. They have the perfect hint of floral rose water and are topped with sweet white chocolate. They are buttery, delicious and perfect for sharing with loved ones on Valentine’s Day.
My favorite shortbread cookie recipe is the base for this recipe. If you love shortbread, definitely try my Lemon Pistachio Shortbread Cookies. These Shortbread Cookies with Mini Chocolate Chips are a must for chocolate fans!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Lemon zest in the cookie dough adds so much fresh flavor.
- Rose water gives these cookies the perfect hint of floral flavor. Rose water is most often used in desserts although I have a delicious Rose Water Quinoa Salad recipe here on my blog that is totally delicious.
- These rose water cookies are almost too pretty to eat! Lemon zest and crushed dried rose petals add the prettiest specks of color.
- The dough comes together in one bowl. It only takes a few steps to mix it together.
- Their rich, buttery, melt in your mouth taste and texture will keep you going back for more bites!
- Butter: Use room temperature, unsalted butter.
- Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar gives these cookies their soft texture and their perfect amount of sweetness.
- Rose Water: Rose water is a common ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine. It adds a lovely floral scent and a special enticing taste to food. It’s made by distilling fresh rose petals with water. Rose water is pretty potent, so however you use it, use it sparingly.
- Vanilla Extract: For added flavor.
- Lemon: We are using both lemon zest and lemon juice. Use only fresh lemon juice.
- Dried Rose Petals: Dried rose petals can be found in Middle Eastern stores or online. They had a hint of flavor and pretty specks of color in the cookies. Crush them with a mortar and pestle or chop them with a knife.
- 1 Egg Yolk
- Flour: Use all purpose flour.
- Salt: Without the salt, the cookies would taste bland. If using salted butter, you can omit the additional salt.
SUBSTITUTIONS & VARIATIONS
- These are rose water cookies, so I wouldn’t recommend leaving out or replacing the rose water. The only thing I might swap in for rose water is orange blossom water.
- Salted butter can be used in place of unsalted. In this case, you don’t need to add any additional salt.
- For some added crunch and flavor, add some chopped nuts to the cookie dough. I’d recommend pistachios or almonds.
- If you don’t want the lemon flavor to be too strong, use milk in place of the lemon juice.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
Below are steps on how to make these rose water shortbread cookies. Please see recipe card below for complete list of instructions and ingredients.
Step One: Cream the butter and sugar. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy.
Step Two: Add the add ins and egg yolk. With the mixer running, add the rose water, crushed rose petals, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla, followed by the egg yolk.
Step Three: Add the flour and salt. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
Step Five: Roll out the dough: Divide the dough in half. Roll out each half on a sheet of parchment paper sprinkled with a little flour. Place each half on a tray and cover each tray with plastic wrap. Chill for twenty minutes.
Step Six: Cut out cookies. Cut out cookies using a cookie cutter. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Step Seven: Bake. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Top with white chocolate frosting and sprinkles and enjoy!
Hint: Bake til edges are lightly golden brown.
INSTRUCTIONS- DECORATING THE COOKIES
Step One: Melt the chocolate. Heat the white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Give it a stir between intervals until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
Step Two: Dip or drizzle with chocolate. To dip the cookies, just dunk one edge of the cookies in the melted chocolate. To drizzle chocolate, put melted chocolate in a sandwich bag and snip a corner off. You can also drizzle it on with a spoon.
Step Three: Decorate. Sprinkle some lemon zest crushed dried rose petals over the chocolate. The decorations will stick to the chocolate as it sets.
EXPERT BAKING TIPS
- Pipe cookie dough into rosette shapes. Given that these are rose water cookies, I could not resist piping this dough into rosettes! Instead of rolling out the dough, Use a large star tip to pipe them onto a baking sheet before chilling the dough.
- Roll the dough out before chilling it. This is a soft, easy dough to work with. It’s easiest to roll out before you chill it.
- Run a knife under the dough. Once the dough has chilled, run a bench scraper or a large knife gently under the cookie dough to help unstick it from the parchment paper. This will help you lift the cookies off the paper once you cut them out.
Rose water is a common ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine. It adds a lovely floral scent and a special enticing taste to food. It’s made by distilling fresh rose petals with water. If you haven’t tasted or made anything with it yet, I highly recommend it!
You can find rose water in Middle Eastern stores. I’ve also been seeing it more in the international foods aisle of many grocery stores.
Yes. Check out my Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookie Recipe for directions on how to make shortbread cookies without a cookie cutter.
Yes! I recommend chopped pistachios. They’re often used with rose water in Middle Eastern desserts.
STORING AND FREEZING
Room Temperature: Store these lemon rose water cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Freezer: Freeze cookies in an airtight for up to 2 months. Defrost them in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
MORE RECIPES YOU WILL LOVEPrint
Lemon Rose Water Cookies
- Prep Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours 32 minutes
- Yield: About 2 dozen
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
These easy, buttery, melt in your mouth Lemon Rose Water Cookies with white chocolate are crumbly, rich and delicious!
ROSE WATER COOKIES
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 3 and 3/4 teaspoons rose water*
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons dried rose petals, crushed and finely chopped (optional)
WHITE CHOCOLATE TOPPING
- 4 ounces white chocolate, melted
- 1 lemon, for zesting, optional
- dried rose petals, optional
ROSE WATER COOKIES
- Sift together the flour and salt and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy. Add the lemon zest, rose water, vanilla, crushed rose petals (if using) and lemon juice followed by the egg yolk. On low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
- Once the dough has been mixed, divide it in half. Roll each half out on sheets of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour. Roll out to a circle about 1/4 inch thick. Place each circle on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and chill 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- Once chilled, take the dough out of the fridge. Lift the parchment paper off the tray and onto the counter. Run a long knife carefully between the parchment paper and the cookie dough. Use cookie cutters to cut out the cookies. Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.
- Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes until the edges just begin to turn golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes then transfer them to racks to cool completely.
WHITE CHOCOLATE TOPPING
- Once the cookies are baked, melt the white chocolate. Set your microwave to 50% power and heat the white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Give it a stir between intervals until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Use a spoon to drizzle white chocolate over the cookies. Alternatively, dip or dredge 1/3 or 1/2 of each cookie in the chocolate. Use the side of the bowl or a small spatula to gently wipe away excess chocolate from the bottom or edge of the cookie. Place on a wire rack placed over some parchment paper or a baking sheet (this will catch the chocolate that may drip).
- Immediately zest the lemon over the cookie and garnish with chopped rose petals, if using. Allow the cookies to set about 30 minutes.
Rose water: Rose water can be found online, in Middle Eastern Stores, or in the international aisle of most large grocery stores.
This amount gives a nice hint of rose water. For a slightly stronger flavor, add an additional 1/4 teaspoon of rose water.
For a less lemony flavor, use milk in place of lemon juice.
Storing: Store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Freeze these rose water shortbread cookies in an airtight for up to 2 months. Defrost them in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
Keywords: shortbread, cookies, rose water, rose, rose petals, white chocolate, Valentine’s Day, lemon, hearts
Ok I just made this, the dough is chilling in my fridge, and I’ve noticed some inconsistencies with your ingredients and your recipe.
You mention lemon juice but not how much and your wet ingredients leave out the rose water and milk all together. It’s confusing. I’m hoping this turns out okay…I added two teaspoons of cardamom to give it a bit of a Persian love cake vibe.
Hi Danielle. Thanks for your comment. I’m so sorry about the inconsistencies and confusion. I am updating the recipe right now. I had copied the recipe from my other lemon shortbread recipe and must’ve mixed up the recipes slightly. Apologize again for that!
I made these last week and they came out great—so buttery and melty in the mouth.
My question: Do you have a recommendation for where to buy edible rose petals? My cookies taste great, but look so plain without them.
Hi Georgia! Thank you so much for making these lemon rose water cookies. I’m so happy you enjoyed them! I get my dried edible rose petals from my local Middle Eastern store. They have lots of different dried herbs and flowers. I’m not sure if you have a store like that in your area. Otherwise, I would suggest looking online. I hope you’re able to find some! You’re right, they definitely make the prettiest decoration! Thanks for taking the time to comment and please let me know if you have any other questions 🙂 Natalie
These cookies sound absolutely phenomenal. Before I make them, I have a question.
In the icing instructions, it reads:
Once the cookies are baked, melt the white chocolate. Set your microwave to 50% power and heat the white chocolate and shortening in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Give it a stir between intervals until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
How much shortening goes in the white chocolate melting? I can’t find shortening listed in the ingredients. Did I totally miss something?
awaiting reply so I can make these. Thanks!
Hi Trish! Thanks so much for your kind words and thank you for your question. I’m sorry for any confusion. I had deleted the shortening from the ingredients but forgot to remove it from the instructions. Appreciate your bringing that to my attention. I will delete that from the instructions. You’ll just want to melt the white chocolate by itself. Thanks again and excited for you to try these cookies! Hope you love them. Please let me know if you have any other questions. -Natalie