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I made this rose and raspberry flavored shortbread from a recipe in the New York Times, a creation of the French pastry chef Pierre Hermé. It’s a simple shortbread cookie, with the addition of rose essence and freeze-dried raspberries. These “sablés” remind me of all the goodies from Fortnum and Mason which are rose-scented, and the raspberry boosts the flavor without masking it.

Bite-sized bits of buttery goodness.

Rose and lavender are great for culinary use, but they have to be used sparingly. Fragrance-lovers might think “the more, the better,” yet too much of the floral can make the food taste like soap. I once had pancakes with lavender syrup at a restaurant, and while I loved the idea, the execution was… overenthusiastic.

Therefore I resisted the temptation to tinker with the recipe, except for the special rose-flavored “sanding sugar.” I can never find this “sanding sugar” in the store, so I used regular granulated sugar. The instructions were to place it in a ziploc bag, add 1/4 tsp. rose extract, and a few drops of red food coloring.

I don’t like food coloring, so I put a piece of cooked beet in with the rose essence and shook the bag. It turned the sugar a lovely pink, but the color didn’t survive the baking process.

The dough is a standard shortbread cookie dough of flour, butter and sugar with a pinch of salt. To this you add 1/2 tsp. rose essence and a half-cup of freeze-dried raspberries which have been crushed to a rough powder.

The raspberries give the dough a nice rosy color.

The instructions say to divide the dough into four parts and roll each into an 8-inch log. I didn’t believe that the small amount of dough would be enough for four “logs,” but these cookies are quite small, the size of a medium coin. The logs are rolled in the rose sugar, then refrigerated for an hour, then cut into half-inch thickness.

I made LOTS of extra sugar, which I saved to put in tea later. I added the rest of the powder from the crushed raspberries. It’s really tasty, and pretty.

The cookies are placed in a 325 F (160 C) oven for 19-20 minutes, turning the sheet after 10 minutes to ensure even baking. I misread the temperature and used 350, which made them more brown than they ought to be, but they’re still delicious.

A very good match for my “Desert Rose” dishes!