13 July 2010

By Any Other Name

I used to find roses incredibly corny; boring, trite and unimaginative in a bouquet.

But over the past few years, those wild, uninhibited varieties that envelop a decaying fence or other quiet green corner have slowly crept into my heart and taken root. There those sweet little roses stay, even if I rarely see or smell them during their brief summer reign.

So perhaps it's a severe case of garden envy: I've been consumed with thoughts about how roses would taste in a rhubarb pie, or scattered over pastry cream and brioche. I've often enjoyed the petals mixed with black tea, so why not in an accompanying sweet?

Without any blooms to gather, these sesame-rose cookies are a good place to start. Imagine a classic peanut-butter cookie- interpreted in rich, evocative Middle Eastern flavors and crowned with the haunting essence of rose-petal jam- and you'll get the idea.

Better yet, make them yourself. The tahini and jam are available from Sahadi's, one of my absolute favorite food stores. And I'm happy to share that the cookies won the store's (and my, actually) first recipe contest. They're tasting all the sweeter now with my iced tea.

Sesame-Rose Cookies
Makes: about 2 dozen cookies.

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup tahini
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 cup rose-petal jam

In small bowl, stir together flour and baking soda. Set aside. In medium bowl, mix tahini, butter, sugar, egg and salt together until well blended. Stir in flour. Cover dough, and refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight.

Heat oven to 350°. Let dough sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, then roll into balls (about 2 teaspoons each). Roll balls in sesame seeds, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets. Using the end of a wooden spoon, gently indent each cookie, taking care to press only about halfway through the dough.

Bake cookies at 350° for 13-15 minutes. Let cool on sheet 2 minutes, then gently re-form the holes the end of the with wooden spoon before removing to rack to cool completely.

Once cool, fill each cookie with 1/2 teaspoon jam. Serve, or refrigerate for up to 3 days.


Unknown said...

My Hubbs is Indian and they are not shy about using roses either. I've slowly gotten used to it. I think my favourite rose treat is macarons, but I love it sprinkled onto watermelon too.
I never would have thought to use them in this type of cookie... inspired :)
*kisses* HH

Penelope said...

Can't wait to try your contest winning cookies!

anna said...

I didn't like roses or any flowers really until recently, when I discovered I DO like them...to eat. As soon as I saw the cookies I bookmarked this - I'll be trying it for sure!

Marilyn Miller said...

Your recipe sounds lovely. Thanks for sharing it. Congratulations on the winning.

Anonymous said...

a rose by any other name...