Inspired by the truly exquisite rosebud and cinnamon infusion they serve at Honey & Co. in London, these delicate biscuits will make you feel like you’re at the Ritz, daintily nibbling a platter of sweetmeats while sipping tea from wafer-thin bone china with your little finger sticking out.
The combination of rose and cinnamon feels like eating a fairytale. Enjoy them as they are, with a pot of rose tea, or with London Fog ice cream or chamomile panna cotta. For another delightful floral version, swap the rose for a tablespoon of dried lavender buds.
- Difficulty A little tricky
- 70g caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried rosebuds or rose petals
- 120g butter, softened at room temperature
- a generous pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 120g plain flour
- 50g semolina
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas mark 3. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
Put the caster sugar in a mini chopper or food processor. If using dried rosebuds, remove the green stalks. Add the buds or petals to the sugar and blitz until flecked evenly with tiny pink rose fragments. Alternatively, you can do this in a mortar and pestle, but it will be a little more time-consuming!
Using an electric mixer or electric hand whisk (or using a bowl, wooden spoon and a lot of muscle power), cream the butter, salt and cinnamon together on high speed for a couple of minutes. Set 1 tablespoon of the rose sugar aside for later, then put the rest in the mixer and beat on high speed to combine with the flavoured butter. Sift in the flour and add the semolina, then mix until just combined and you have a soft dough.
Flour a work surface and roll out the dough to about 5mm thick. Using a scone cutter (or similar cutter; or cut out shapes using a knife – hearts or flowers look lovely), cut rounds out of the dough and place them on the baking sheet with at least 2.5cm between each shortbread. The dough is quite fragile, so move the shortbreads carefully onto the baking sheet.
Bake for 15–20 minutes, until lightly golden, then remove the shortbreads from the oven and place on a cooling rack. While they are still hot, sprinkle them evenly with the remaining rose sugar, then leave to cool completely before eating.
Extract taken from The Botanical Kitchen by Elly McCausland (£26, Bloomsbury Absolute). Photography © Polly Webster[image id="52490" size="landscape_thumbnail" alt="The Botanical Kitchen by Elly McCausland"]