Rosewater Cardamom Cookies

Gemma, Pro Bono Baker

My favorite desserts during the winter holiday season have a bit of spice to balance their sweetness. Gingerbread and pfeffernüss are common favorites, but when I’m looking for something different to take to a party or cookie exchange, these are perfect. The rich flavors of rosewater, cardamom and almond are a wonderful complement to a cup of black tea with warm milk on a chilly evening. The rosewater icing is optional, but it is simple to prepare and really makes these cookies something special.

Rosewater Cardamom Cookies
By Pro Bono Baker
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies


For the cookies:

2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon rosewater
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

For the icing (optional):
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon rosewater
a few drops of almond extract
milk, as needed


Cookies: Combine flour, baking soda, spices, salt and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter, oil and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, rosewater and almond extract and beat until blended.

Add half dry ingredients to the ingredients and mix until just until blended. Repeat with remaining half of dry ingredients. Cover dough and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare 2 cookie sheets by covering with a silicone mat or lightly buttering.

Use your hands to form dough into 3/4 inch-sized balls. Place on prepared sheets 2 to 3 inches apart.

Bake cookies for about 15 minutes, or until they are cracked on top but still soft to the touch. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack with a spatula. Cool completely before icing.

Icing: In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, butter, rosewater and almond extract. Blend thoroughly with a fork to remove any clumps of powdered sugar. If icing is too thick, add 1 teaspoon milk at a time until you achieve the desired consitency.

Use a butter knife or a cake icing spatula to frost each cookie.

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  1. Paul Kevin Shira said:

    I really like to learn new recipes please send me some newsletters