pistachio and rose shortbreads

I saw a picture of some almond cookies decorated with rose petals and pistachios in 'A Year of Simple Family Food' by Julia Busuttil Nishimura. They looked so pretty they inspired me to make these pistachio and rose shortbreads.

I'm quite fond of Mexican wedding cakes, little morsels of nutty shortbread enrobed in icing sugar, usually made with pecans. 
I went to my standby recipe from Caroline Velik, changed the nuts, added a dash of rosewater, rolled the mixture into balls, pinched the decoration idea from Julia and voila, I had a batch of pistachio and rose shortbreads. 

The recipe can be made entirely in a food processor. I
f you don't have a food processor then chop the nuts very finely rather than using nut meal as you want the crunch from the nuts. I was a bit hesitant about the rosewater so I erred on the side of caution so you may want to increase the quantity in your shortbreads.

Here's the recipe for you which makes 36 shortbread cookies. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60 g eggs. My oven is a conventional oven so if you have a fan-forced oven you may need to reduce the temperature by 20°C.
Rose and pistachio shortbreads – inspired by Julia Busutill Nishimura
60g toasted natural almonds 
60g raw pistachios 
90g caster sugar 
Pinch salt 
250g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed 
300g plain flour 
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste 
½ tsp rosewater 
125g sifted icing sugar 
Optional - A few slivered pistachios and rose petals for decoration
Put the nuts, sugar and a pinch of fine sea salt in a food processor and whiz until the nuts are ground, but not too fine – it should be about the texture of coarse sand. Add the butter and continue to whiz until the mixture is well combined. Add the flour, rosewater and vanilla seeds/paste and pulse until everything just comes together, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go if needed. The mixture should be soft but not sticky – add a little more flour if necessary. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to allow the dough to firm a little. 
Preheat oven to 170ºC (conventional) and line 2 trays with baking paper. Roll the mixture into 20g balls then arrange the biscuits on the prepared trays, allowing room for them to spread a little as they cook. 
Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until lightly coloured. Remove from oven and rest on the tray for about 10 minutes then roll the shortbreads in icing sugar while still warm. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely. 

Just before serving, dust the tea cakes with more icing sugar. If you like, you can decorate the top of the biscuits with a few pistachio pieces and some rose petals.

These shortbread are just delicious. The 
shortbread is buttery, heavy on the vanilla, crunchy from the nuts and sweet from the icing sugar. 
See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.
Bye for now,

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