Honest Fare

Pretty Provisions and Notes from the Kitchen

So in Love. Rose Water & Pistachio Macaroons.

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So in Love. Rose Water & Pistachio Macaroons., Honest Fare by Gabrielle Arnold

Jason is turning 30-years-old this week so I’ve been distracted planning something special for that, and I must admit, Valentine’s Day kind of snuck up on me this year. But nevertheless, love is in the air and I wanted to share these romantic little cookies with you all.

This one is a new creation for me. A few weeks ago I picked up a bottle of rose water from the Middle Eastern market and my intention was to make some kind of rose water infused cookie…maybe with pistachios.

Side note: I recently downloaded a copy of Soup Stone’s 5 ingredient baking cookbook and have been so inspired by it. If you’re not familiar with SoupStone , it’s run by a food scientist committed to only cooking meals and baking treats with 5 ingredients or less. I love the concept and agree with her philosophy of keeping things super simple. You should check out her blog and free online cookbooks.

Anyway, figuring the rose water would go nicely in a macaroon, I started doing some research on different macaroon recipes, which I have very little experience with. I wanted something easy though (5 ingredients or less style) and all of the classic macaroon recipes I found seemed too frilly for my mood. The creams/sweet spreads that usually go sandwiched between French style macaroons were kind of turning me off…the last thing we want for Valentine’s day ;)

So I went out on a limb and did a combination of a few things I’d read – basically Frankensteined a recipe for an almond Passover cookie with Martha Stewart’s French Macaroon recipe – and came up with these!

They are FANTASTIC. Just sweet enough. Fluffy and chewy. Sort of reminiscent of nougat with the perfect hint of rose water at the end. Jason says they are the perfect cookie.

The best part about them is that they’re the kind of cookie you can make in your sleep. Almonds, pistachios, sugar, pinch of salt and cream or tarter (optional) in the food processor until a sandy consistency. Add an egg white, rose water and a couple drops of food coloring (optional) and blend.

The dough is kind of sticky and thick which makes it easy to form into nice little mounds.

They’re quick to bake and oh so lovely. You definitely have time to throw these together, especially if you’re in a Valentine’s Day pinch like me! Plus, there’s nothing more romantic than the sweet scent of roses…

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Prep time + cook time: 15 minutes. I added a a few drops of red food coloring to give them the pretty pink color, but feel free to omit that step. You can also omit the cream of tarter, but I think it helps a little with the fluffiness. Recipe makes 16-20 macaroons.

You need:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, shells removed (plus a few extra for topping)
  • 3 oz granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • Tiny pinch salt
  • Tiny pinch cream or tarter
  • 1 egg large white
  • A few drops food red food coloring


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Pulse almonds and pistachios, sugar and pinch of cream of tarter and salt in food processor until consistency of cornmeal. You may need to stop and stir if it starts to stick. Add rose water, egg white and food coloring and pulse a few times until thick dough forms.
  2. Scoop 1 level tablespoon of dough at a time and place on lined baking sheet at least 1 inch apart. Let dough settle 10 minutes and then go back to work into neat mounds and press 1/2 a pistachio nut (cut side up) in center of each cookie. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until slight cracks start to form on tops. Remove immediately and let cool completely before eating. They will be very soft when you remove them but harden as they cool so you don’t want to over bake! Better take them out sooner than later and if the centers still seem too doughy as they start to cool, you can pop them back in for just another minute or two.



  1. Posted February 13, 2011 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    these look amazing! gluten-free too ;)

  2. Posted February 13, 2011 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    Oh golly this cookies look fantastic! There is something so fragrant and alluring about the combination of pistachios and rosewater. I absolutely cannot wait to make these.

  3. Posted February 14, 2011 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

    These look wonderful (and so simple)! Do you think I could replace the sugar with honey?

  4. gabi
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

    I actually don’t know that honey would work. Just not sure what it would do to the consistency. Maybe you could try maple sugar because it’s granular. In fact, I make a coconut macaroon with maple sugar that’s really nice. But still no guarantee the maple sugar would work in these though…and I have a feeling it would probably take over the rose water flavor.
    Here are the coconut maple macaroons: https://honestfare.com/coconut-maple-macaroons/

  5. Posted February 14, 2011 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    Hi Gabi, thanks for the feedback. I was also worried about the consistency. We’ll see…I may try it and report back! Thanks for the macaroon recipe – those look delish!

  6. Posted February 14, 2011 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    You had me at “pistachio.”

  7. Rachel M
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

    I made these last night and aside from shelling the pistachios it took literally 20 minutes prep to finish. They were delicious, and will be the perfect Passover dessert this year. A couple of changes I made out of necessity:

    -I had salted pistachios, so I only added a *tiny* pinch of salt
    -I didn’t use food coloring and they came out pistachio colored, which was fine :)
    -I didn’t have rosewater, and used a 1/4 tsp of vanilla instead. yum.

    I highly recommend these as either a quick weeknight treat (maybe served with a little frozen yogurt?)

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  8. gabi
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

    Glad you had such success with them! Yes, they are easily modified with either almond or vanilla extract. You could also do all almonds. So simple!

  9. Posted February 16, 2011 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

    Love these, simply gorgeous!

  10. Posted February 21, 2011 at 2:13 AM | Permalink

    These look delicious. I have some rosewater that I haven’t used yet; perhaps this’ll be the recipe to break it in!
    Also, I love pistachios, so.

  11. Posted February 22, 2011 at 11:52 PM | Permalink

    These look adorably delicious! Pistachios are one of my favorite things.

  12. Posted February 28, 2011 at 5:56 PM | Permalink

    Beautiful! I love the concept of cooking with less than 5 ingredients. I wish I knew more recipes that were this simple and elegant. I also love the absence of the cream filling. It’s a refreshing take on the macaroon. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Posted February 28, 2011 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

    These look so lovely and delicate! Though that wouldn’t stop me from devouring them…

  14. Posted March 1, 2011 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    I can’t believe I’ve only just come across your blog – your pictures are beautiful and this recipe looks amazing. I’m not sure I’ve got the skills to master this one, but look forward to having a proper browse and hopefully finding more things to try.

  15. Posted March 29, 2011 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    Had to grab this recipe, I have all the ingredients except the food coloring (which I can skip). Simply lovely.


  16. Posted May 29, 2011 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

    I’m always surprised rose water hasn’t exploded as an ingredient – It is a great addition to deserts, fruit salads, ice creams and sorbets. I even know some people that add a few drops in drinking water to keep it fresh and floral.

  17. Nicola
    Posted June 13, 2011 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

    I made these last week for my Iranian friend’s birthday. Pistachio & Rosewater are classic flavourings and she absoloutely loved them! Well done, wonderful!

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