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Rosewater Hearts

by
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Introduction

These delicate, scented cookies have fragrant flavour enough to be eaten alone, but are more than able to take a little light icing/frosting, too. Indeed, they would be pretty fabulous sandwiched, in pairs, with the buttercream of your choice.

My preference is for the plain and simple version, nibbled with a cup of tea mid afternoon, or eaten with ice cream or after dinner coffee in the evening. I have used a heart-shaped cutter, measuring 6cm at its widest part, but you can, of course, use any cutter you want. I admit, it is unlikely you will want 60 cookies right off the bat, but the dough freezes well and so you can eke out your treats!

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

These delicate, scented cookies have fragrant flavour enough to be eaten alone, but are more than able to take a little light icing/frosting, too. Indeed, they would be pretty fabulous sandwiched, in pairs, with the buttercream of your choice.

My preference is for the plain and simple version, nibbled with a cup of tea mid afternoon, or eaten with ice cream or after dinner coffee in the evening. I have used a heart-shaped cutter, measuring 6cm at its widest part, but you can, of course, use any cutter you want. I admit, it is unlikely you will want 60 cookies right off the bat, but the dough freezes well and so you can eke out your treats!

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Ingredients

Makes: 60 hearts

Metric Cups

For the Hearts

  • 175 grams plain flour
  • 100 grams rice flour
  • 100 grams icing sugar
  • 175 grams unsalted butter at room temperature and cut in 1 cm/half- inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater
  • 1 large egg

For the Glace Icing

  • 300 grams icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • A few drops of red/pink food colouring (optional)
  • sprinkles of your choice

For the Hearts

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature and cut in 1 cm/half- inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater
  • 1 large egg

For the Glace Icing

  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • A few drops of red/pink food colouring (optional)
  • sprinkles of your choice

Method

Hearts

  1. For ease, use a processor to make these: put the flour, rice flour and icing sugar into the bowl, fitted with the steel knife, and give a quick blitz to mix. Add the cubes of butter and process again. You should have a soft crumbly mixture.
  2. Add the rosewater and egg, and process until the dough coheres and begins to form a clump around the blade. Remove the lid of the food processor, and the blade, and then scoop out the dough, and form into two fat discs; cover each with clingfilm/ plastic wrap, and put both discs into the fridge to firm up for 15-20 minutes, preheating the oven to 180ºC/160ºC Fan/350ºF as you do so.
  3. Get out your rolling pin, and line a flat baking sheet (or sheets) with baking parchment/parchment paper. When you're ready to roll, remove the first disc from the fridge, unwrap it, and sprinkle a work surface lightly with flour, and dust your hands and the cutter lightly with flour, too.
  4. Roll the dough out to about 4mm/¼ inch depth and start cutting out your hearts, placing them on the prepared baking sheet leaving a little space between each one (though these cookies don’t swell on cooking) as you do so. I use one sheet at a time and do this in batches. This is a very good-natured dough and can be squodged together and rerolled happily.
  5. Bake each batch in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will be light golden underneath but pale on top. They will feel slightly undercooked, but crisp up as they cool.
  6. Once out of the oven, leave on the sheet for 10 minutes before transferring, gently, to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Proceed with remaining dough, or freeze how ever much you want for another time. If freezing the dough, wrap first well in clingfilm/plastic wrap and then pop into an airtight freezer bag, for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using. Alternatively you could roll the dough and cut out the biscuits and then put them on lined baking sheets. Freeze until solid then transfer to plastic bags or a resalable container and freeze for up to three months. Bake direct from frozen, the temperature and time will be the same.

Icing

  1. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Mix the rosewater and warm water together and stir into the sugar, a little at a time, until you have spreadable, but not liquid, icing. Add a few drops of extra water, if needed. (If using food colouring stir it in a drop at a time until you have a pale pink colour.)
  2. Spread about a teaspoonful of the icing on each biscuit and leave the iced biscuits on a wire rack for an hour or so, to let the icing can set a little. If you are using sprinkles, these must go in immediately after the biscuit is iced. You can ice a few and then sprinkle; it is important that the icing is still wet or the sprinkles won't adhere.
  3. If you are packaging the hearts up then you may prefer to use royal icing powder instead of the icing sugar as this icing will set more firmly. If royal icing sugar is not available then add 2 tablespoons meringue powder or powdered egg white to the icing/icing sugar before making the icing.

Hearts

  1. For ease, use a processor to make these: put the flour, rice flour and confectioners' sugar into the bowl, fitted with the steel knife, and give a quick blitz to mix. Add the cubes of butter and process again. You should have a soft crumbly mixture.
  2. Add the rosewater and egg, and process until the dough coheres and begins to form a clump around the blade. Remove the lid of the food processor, and the blade, and then scoop out the dough, and form into two fat discs; cover each with clingfilm/ plastic wrap, and put both discs into the fridge to firm up for 15-20 minutes, preheating the oven to 180ºC/160ºC Fan/350ºF as you do so.
  3. Get out your rolling pin, and line a flat baking sheet (or sheets) with baking parchment/parchment paper. When you're ready to roll, remove the first disc from the fridge, unwrap it, and sprinkle a work surface lightly with flour, and dust your hands and the cutter lightly with flour, too.
  4. Roll the dough out to about 4mm/¼ inch depth and start cutting out your hearts, placing them on the prepared baking sheet leaving a little space between each one (though these cookies don’t swell on cooking) as you do so. I use one sheet at a time and do this in batches. This is a very good-natured dough and can be squodged together and rerolled happily.
  5. Bake each batch in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will be light golden underneath but pale on top. They will feel slightly undercooked, but crisp up as they cool.
  6. Once out of the oven, leave on the sheet for 10 minutes before transferring, gently, to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Proceed with remaining dough, or freeze how ever much you want for another time. If freezing the dough, wrap first well in clingfilm/plastic wrap and then pop into an airtight freezer bag, for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using. Alternatively you could roll the dough and cut out the biscuits and then put them on lined baking sheets. Freeze until solid then transfer to plastic bags or a resalable container and freeze for up to three months. Bake direct from frozen, the temperature and time will be the same.

Icing

  1. Sift the confectioners' sugar into a bowl. Mix the rosewater and warm water together and stir into the sugar, a little at a time, until you have spreadable, but not liquid, icing. Add a few drops of extra water, if needed. (If using food colouring stir it in a drop at a time until you have a pale pink colour.)
  2. Spread about a teaspoonful of the icing on each biscuit and leave the iced biscuits on a wire rack for an hour or so, to let the icing can set a little. If you are using sprinkles, these must go in immediately after the biscuit is iced. You can ice a few and then sprinkle; it is important that the icing is still wet or the sprinkles won't adhere.
  3. If you are packaging the hearts up then you may prefer to use royal icing powder instead of the confectioners' sugar as this icing will set more firmly. If royal confectioners' sugar is not available then add 2 tablespoons meringue powder or powdered egg white to the icing/confectioners' sugar before making the icing.

Tell us what you think

What 8 Others have said

  • I agree with previous comment and my dough was also terribly squishy, but I feel our humid climate here in Sydney might be to blame, so added extra Rice Flour and Icing Sugar and dough became workable. Very easy recipe using store cupboard items.

    Posted by germania on 23rd February 2017
  • I must've done something really wrong! I thought I had followed the instructions to the letter, but the dough was the wettest dough I've ever encountered and it was almost unworkable. However the biscuits turned out okay and taste lovely.

    Posted by Maybe_Roo on 11th October 2016
  • Done yesterday, fantastic especially with a hot cup of tea. Half of them already gone! Giorgia

    Posted by Giop76 on 16th January 2016
  • I haven't frosted these cookies yet but just plain they are so tasty!

    Posted by Kakalina on 7th December 2015
  • I loved it. They are as sweet as Nigella herself.

    Posted by Debasrita on 25th November 2015
  • Can't wait to try them. Rosewater is my favourite essence for the time being.

    Posted by sugared almonds on 14th June 2015
  • I loved the way the cookies looked, and I tried them out today! I was right, they look amazing and tastes even better! Thanks Nigella:)

    Posted by krello777 on 13th February 2015
  • Wonderful! I made these today, froze half of the dough for another time. By far the easiest rolled cookie dough that I have worked with, and, another use for the bottle of rose water in my cabinet. This recipe is a keeper. Nigella, thank you for sharing.

    Posted by Mamahawk50 on 13th February 2015
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