Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pistachio-Rose Thumbprint Cookies

I found some rose petal 'confiture' (French for jam or preserves) at our local Greek shopping centre. In celebration of the beautiful taste and perfume, I decided to make these wonderful tasting Pistachio-Rose Thumbprint Cookies which I have adapted from Pichet Ong's lovely book "The Sweet Spot - Asian-Inspired Desserts". The recipe makes 36 cookies.


1 1/4 cups (180 gm) all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup (120gm) unsalted pistachios, shelled
3/4 cup (170gm) unsalted butter
4 oz (115g) cream cheese
2 tablespoons grated fresh orange zest
3/4 (160gm) cup castor (confectioners) sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
3 -4 tablespoons rose petal jam


In a large bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together then set aside. Grind the pistachio nuts and castor sugar in a food processor until finely ground but not oily.

In a large bowl, cream ground pistachios and sugar with butter, cream cheese, orange zest, and salt until light and fluffy (or in mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed , about 5 minutes). Mix in the egg and orange juice (use a medium speed if using a mixer) then add flour mixture in 2 parts (turn the mixer speed to low). Mix just until the flour is combined.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

This makes a very sticky dough so you will have to refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes before using it. Flour your hands and form the dough into 2.5 cm (1 inch) balls. Place the balls 5 cm (2 inches) apart on the prepared baking sheets. Chill in the refrigerator again for at least another 30 minutes prior to baking, uncovered, or until firm.

Either using your thumb or the handle of a wooden spoon, make 1/2 inch deep indentations in center of each dough ball. Fill each thumbprint with approximately 1/4 teaspoon of the jam.

Bake at 175'C (350'F) for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on a rack. They can be stored in airtight container for up to 2 days.


  1. Ohhh, I have that book. Will have to check the recipe. How great that you were able to find that jam? Was the rose overpowering?

  2. Hi Julia, Yes, it is a lovely book. I was inspired to buy it as my son's girlfriend is Malaysian Chinese and I thought it would be fun to do a few of these lovely recipes with her. She is a fabulous cook.

    The jam was lovely in every way except it was clear and it evaporated leaving mostly rose petals. Next time I will perhaps use raspberry jam with a little rose water added. I am sure it will look prettier. I will also make the cookies smaller (the original recipe says to make 1 inch balls which made large cookies that required 20 minutes rather than the 10 minutes as stated in the original recipe). I also felt that more pistachio nuts would have given a more pronounced flavour. The cookies definitely have an Asian slant with the cream cheese making them softer than what I had expected. I was biased by childhood memories of my mother's crisp thumbprint biscuits.