This week The New York Times published an interesting article on rosewater. They called it a “power ingredient” that can be substituted for vanilla and that pairs well with fresh fruit.
Apparently rosewater was used in Europe to flavor cookies in the early to mid 19th century before vanilla extract became popular. Here is a terrific sugar cookie recipe flavored with rosewater, vanilla, and lemon extracts.
Rosewater Sugar Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter or margarine
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp lemon extract
1 1/2 tsp rose water extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
3 cups flour
Preheat oven to 325F.
Cream sugar and butter well. Beat in yolk and extracts to blend. Mix baking soda into sour cream and mix well with other ingredients. Add flour; mix well.
Roll out dough on lightly floured surface and using a 1-inch cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Place on baking sheets a few inches apart.
Rosewater Sugar Topping
Put 3 tablespoons of white sugar into a jar, sprayed a couple of times the rosewater over it, and added just a tiny hint of pink food coloring. Shake to mix the sugar with the coloring and the rosewater.
Lightly pat the sugar onto each cookie. Bake cookies about 20 minutes or just slightly pale brown. Cool on rack.