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I love shortbread because its so easy to make. I’ve tried some absolutely terrible recipes though. Too much butter and you can’t handle it, not enough and its not ‘short’. Biscuits are also a good thing to bake right now whilst the strange British weather is warm.

The rose water adds a fragrant, exotic flavour. The rose petals add beautiful red-pink flakes to the biscuit and deepen the flavour. Its a departure from the Scottish original, but I’m not Scottish so I don’t care!
The rose petals are really Egyptian. We bought them on our trip to Alexandria last december. We were doing our last shop before we left and the herbs and spices were so cheap. In the last minute rush in the supermarket, he asked me what else to get.

“I dunno, get some rose petals!” It just seemed like the north african thing to do.

Other recipes you’ll find have cornflour, rice flour and all sorts of stuff which promises a great melt in the mouth experience. I mostly like to keep things as simple as possible though.

I don’t have a dishwasher.

Calling this the best shortbread recipe ever would be hyperbole, but I’m not going to be looking for an alternative. Win.

Rose shortbread recipe


  • 210g plain flour
  • 100g cool salted butter
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1tsp rose water
  • 1tsp-1tbsp rose petals

(If you have a dough blade for your food processor put it in now.)
Put all of the flour into a food processor. Crush the rose petals roughly in your hand add to the flour.

Process for about 10 seconds until the petals are evenly distributed through the flour.

Dice the butter into small chunks and add to your food processor.

Add the vanilla and rose water and process the mixture until it just comes together. If the mixture doesn’t come together, add a little ice water a teaspoon at a time.

Take out the dough, wrap in cling film and refridgerate for 30 mins.

Preheat the oven to 180C

Cut a piece of baking/parchment paper cut to fit the size of your baking tray. Lightly sprinkle with flour and roll out your dough onto it to a thickness of 5mm.

Use a round cutter to cut out biscuit rounds, make sure they aren’t too close together as they spread slightly whilst baking.

Lift off the extra pieces around the rounds, re-wrap and put back in the fridge. I needed to do this twice with my baking tray to finish up all the dough.

Bake the shortbread for 10-15 mins until the edges start to lightly brown.

You should end up with something like this:

If you are a bit vanilla, just leave out the rose water and petals and you’ll have a recipe for all butter shortbread. Or try substituting in some brown sugar and adding some cinnamon for a spiced winter shortbread.


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