Are Roses Blooming in the Bakery?

Miss NiNi is rarely in the throes of such bounteous beauty. But I was a few days ago!

Thousands of “mouthwatering” flowers of magnificent size, color, and grandeur graced the speaker’s platform at the Cass County Master Gardeners’ 20th Annual Spring Garden Seminar.

A bouquet of floral fragrance in the venue was comforting and certainly reflected the thought that Spring 2018 truly is peeking around the calendar’s corner.

How perfectly divine that Miss NiNi was included in the day’s program as an accompanying presenter to internationally renowned flower expert Mr. J Schwanke!

To harmonize with the flower theme, Dear Readers, I had created a uniquely flavored shortbread cookie recipe which invited a flower garden into my culinary world.

Did I use edible flower petals or buds? No, I did not.

A Winning Combination

I used food-grade rose water as part of the combination of flavors brought forth in the dainty cookie’s taste sensation.  It is sweet, fragrant, and perfect for sharing its essence in cookies, sugars, and glazes.

How is rose water produced, you might ask? It is scientifically created from the “elegant steam distillate of rose petals”—according to the label attached to the brown glass bottle that held the liquid.

As I flavored the cookie dough, my bakery accepted a lovely rose-garden aroma that gently encapsulated not only my sense of smell but also my sense of taste. My, oh my! One might have thought that Dearly Beloved had presented gorgeous perfumed roses to his bride!

“Easy Does It” was my theme song as I experimented with just the right amount to flavor the shortbread cookie dough. Definitely, “teeny” was preferred over “maxi” as I added drops of the aromatic essence to my creamed butter-sugar mixture. All in all, ¼ teaspoon of the added liquid pleased my palate perfectly.

Personal Preference

However, Dear Readers, often times a baking flavor, extract, or even in this case, rose water, can be tempered by the baking process. And as palates are as varied as flowers in a garden, one might personally choose to add more rose water—perhaps another ¼ teaspoon—for a more pungent after-baking sensual experience.

This dainty fresh-for-Spring cookie has additional fruity ingredients of peach jam encased within its thumbprint indentation along with an orange oil glaze brushed artfully over the cookies’ tops.

Does Miss NiNi’s’ think-outside-the-box little delicacy seem a bit farfetched for your baking creativity, Dear Readers?

Fear not! Even if your baking prowess does not take you to the land of this cookie’s recipe, you still have an opportunity to taste the little treats! Orange Rosies are sold at Miss NiNi’s Desserterie in West Des Moines/Waukee.

Dear Readers, there might not be thousands of roses fragrancing your kitchen environment. However, when baking with rose water, you can still pretend they are!

Miss NiNi



Created by Miss NiNi


  • 8 oz. butter, softened
  • 2/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 t. rosewater (can be purchased from or at a bakery supply store)
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour


  • 1/3 c. apricot jam


  • 1-1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1/8 t. orange oil (can be purchased from or at a bakery supply store)
  • About 3 T. hot water or enough to make a thin glaze


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In large bowl of stand mixer beat butter for 10 seconds. Gradually add sugar and cream on medium speed for 2 minutes. Blend in rosewater. With mixer set on low speed, add flour a little at a time until combined.

Using medium size cookie scoop (about 1-1/2 inch diameter), drop cookie dough on to baking sheet. Make a small finger-size indentation into the top of cookie. Using a 1/8 teaspoon, fill each center with apricot preserves. Bake for 12-13 minutes.

Remove from oven. Allow to cool slightly.


Whisk together powdered sugar, butter, orange oil, and enough hot water to make a thin glaze. Lightly brush on tops of cookies. Allow to sit until glaze is firm. Store in metal cookie tin.

YIELDS:  2 dz.