My parents were always avid gardeners. They had beautiful landscaping (that they created themselves) as well as flourishing vegetable gardens – and it was all organic WAY before organic was cool. Because we lived in Pennsylvania, and because we did not use pesticides, it was my job to pick the Japanese beetles off of the roses every morning and drop them in a can of gasoline. I was an early riser and the cool morning, heavy dew, and bright sunlight caused those roses to reward my efforts with the most intense perfume that you can imagine. Since then roses have been my very favorite flower – I don’t even care what color they are as long as they have scent.
These cookies give you that same heady scent of roses without the work or the need to get up early. You won’t even have to deal with beetles.
Rose crackle cookies are crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside. I am not sure how you measure a truly good cookie but for me this is the standard. I think crunchy cookies taste like store bought so I am always trying to figure out the exact time to take cookies out of the oven to get the right texture.
You don’t want these to get brown.
Anyway. These are an old fashioned treat, made special by rose and vanilla. If you are making them for a shower or a tea just make them smaller and sprinkle with pink sugar crystals. I took them to a birthday party and they disappeared really fast. If you have some time and/or want to make them extra special take two and sandwich them together with some white chocolate ganache.
If you have never tried rosewater flavoring you are missing our on a wonderful, delicate flavor. It is hard to describe but easy to eat! Too much of it will make your baked goods taste like bubble bath, though. Use restraint.
If the cookies don’t crackle on their own, you may need to push them down gently while they are still warm.
Image: Marye Audet