Getting cookies through the post is quite possibly one of the best things about this time of year. Especially when you don't know what kind of cookies your going to be faced with.
This the second year that I've been lucky enough to take part in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, the basic idea is hundreds of food bloggers all across the globe get linked up to 3 other bloggers in their country and they have to send said bloggers a package of yummy cookies, all the while keeping their identity a secret (totally like secret santa) and in return 3 other bloggers send you a parcel full of their finest cookies.
Not bad huh?
Now this year I wasn't the only Irish participant, like last year and I only got linked up with one as they try to keep your gifters and receivers in the same country.
This year I was paired up with the lovely Magda of Magdas Cauldron and if you have a moment you have to pop over to her blog. Her photos are drool worthy and her recipes sound fantastic. She sent me some beautiful, soft and cakey almond gingerbread cookies. As soon as I opened the box I was hit with the wonderful smell of christmas and I knew I was going to like what was in there. So a huge thanks to Magda for the fabulous cookies.
In return I sent Magda some shortbread but not just any old shortbread. Rosewater and Pistachio shortbread. I've had a bottle of rosewater sat in my baking cupboard for the last 4 or 5 months (I know shocking!) because I was finding it really hard to find any inspiration to use the stuff.
Now I knew just regular shortbread, although absolutely divine, would not be special enough for the cookie swap and with a few pistachios looking to be used up and my unopened bottle of rosewater staring at me lovingly I knew it had to be done.
Plus turkish delight is my favourite christmas treat of all time so it's a little homage to that gorgeous festive sweet.
The shortbread came out just as I'd hoped. I even froze the unbaked, already cut dough in the hopes that they'd retain as much of their shape as possible. Thanks goodness it worked.
The shortbread are buttery and crisp and just perfect with a cup of tea on a rainy day. I hope you enjoyed them Magda!
125g / 1/2 Cup + 1 Tablespoon Good Quality Butter
55g / 1/4 Cup Caster Sugar (Plus extra for sprinkling later)
180g / 1 + 1/2 Cup Plain Flour
25g / 1/4 Cup Pistachio Nuts, Shelled and chopped
1/2 Tsp Rosewater
Preheat your oven to 180c / 350f and line your baking trays with greaseproof paper (you'll roughly need about 3 trays unless you are doing them a small batch at a time)
In a large mixing bowl beat your butter until it is smooth and creamy, add in the sugar and continue to beat it for a couple of minutes.
Add in the rosewater and pistachios, followed by the flour and mix it until it comes together as a dough (you may have to get your hands in their towards the end.
Roll out the dough to about 1cm thick and cut out your desired shape. I freehanded to some rectangular biscuits but you can use any shape cutter you please.
Pop you dough shapes onto your prepared tins, leaving about 5cm between each cookie. Then pop them into the freezer for about 20 minutes.
Take your cookies from the freezer nd sprinkle them generously with some more caster sugar then pop them straight into the oven and bake on the middle shelf for 15-20 minutes or until a pale golden brown.
Transfer the shortbread cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.