These deliciously simple melt-in-the-mouth butter shortbread cookies are gently kissed with the luxurious flavours of the famous Persian Love Cakes, where rose and cardamom mingle with citrus and pistachios. Add rich white chocolate and you have the perfect cookie to share on Valentine’s Day.
What is Persian Love Cake?
The story behind Persian love cake is that once upon a time a beautiful Persian woman fell in love with a handsome Prince. To make him fall in love with her she baked a cake filled with the flavours of love itself.
Some versions of the story say that he instantly fell in love with her and they lived happily ever after. The other version goes that he didn’t return her love so she ate all the cake herself instead.
I always try to come up with something for Valentine’s Day, whether it’s my Lovers Jam made with strawberries and pomegranates and all sorts of wonderful spices, to my colourful Valentine’s chocolate bark. I’ve even done a Valentine liqueur too. You can check these out at the end of this post.
This year I wanted to do something super easy but delicious and different too. So the idea of a Valentines cookie was formed. Come on guys a cookie is for life, not just Christmas!
Oh, and there just had to be chocolate for Valentine’s Day, so this is a chocolate Valentine cookie recipe.
These Valentine’s cookies are basically a simple buttery shortbread cookie recipe. There are only 3 main ingredients to make the cookie dough itself;
Butter, sugar and flour.
Then we have to add the Valentines part of this cookie recipe. And for that I have headed to Persia (now Iran) and taken my inspiration from the famous Persian love cake.
So I have added lemon and orange zest to my Valentine cookie dough and also ground cardamom. That deliciously warming spice used so much in Middle Eastern cooking.
Roses are important in a Persian love cake. Instead of adding rose water to the cookie dough I have used edible dried rose petals to the topping of my Valentines cookies.
Pistachios are a must here too. They add flavour, crunch and a zap of delightful green to the cookies giving them the look of a pretty Persian garden in springtime.
Forget the usual icing sugar and water, milk or whatever. Don’t even think of Royal icing or fondant. We are glazing these fabulous Valentines cookies with rich and creamy white chocolate then sprinkling on the rose petals and pistachios.
This cookie recipe couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is make a super simple cookie dough by beating the sugar and butter briefly. Don’t get carried away here as you will get a tough cookie dough if you leave the beaters whirring away for ages.
Then you sift in the flour. Why sift the flour? Well, it gets rid of any lumps or impurities in there and adds a bit of air too.
Add your cardamom and the orange and lemon zest and mix thoroughly.
Wrap the cookie dough in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge or 5-10 minutes in the freezer. This makes the cookie dough much easier to work with.
Pro tips for rolling cookie dough
I roll out my cookie dough out on the baking paper I will be lining the cookie sheet with and I also use the clingfilm that I wrapped the dough in to cover it as I roll it out.
This stops the cookie dough from sticking to anything and saves you having to add extra flour on your work surface and rolling pin.
I rolled my Valentines cookie dough to about 3mm thick and cut out simple heart shapes with a cookie cutter.
Then I baked the cookies for about 15 minutes till they were just golden.
Decorating your Valentine cookies
Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler/Bain Marie, or in a microwave if you have one.
Allow it to cool just a little then spoon some on top of each heart-shaped cookie and swirl it about with a palette knife/butter knife.
Sprinkle on your dried rose petals and pistachios. I like to just have the petals and nuts on one side of my Valentines cookies so you can see the pretty swirls on the luxurious white chocolate too.
How many cookies does this make?
I got 12 of my melt-in-the-mouth Valentines cookies from this simple recipe. My cookie cutter measured 10cm/3″. You could go smaller but then I don’t think you’d get the same decadent look with the swirls of white chocolate and the petals and pistachios.
How long will these keep?
Your cookies will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight tin and you can freeze your Valentines cookies too (before the frosting stage) for up to 3 months.
Looking for more Valentine’s Day foodie inspiration? Then check out these super recipes before you go;
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Valentine Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
- 125 g unsalted butter
- 50 g caster sugar
- 180 g plain flour
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 150 g white chocolate
- 1 tbsp dried rose petals
- 1 tbsp pistachios
- Preheat oven to 180C and line a cookie sheet with baking parchment
- Beat butter and sugar till combined but don't overbeat it or your cookie dough will be tough
- Add the flour, cardamom plus orange and lemon zest and mix well. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for half an hour in fridge or 5-10 mins in freezer
- Roll out on the baking parchment and use the cling film on top of the dough, roll to 2-3mm thick and cut out 12 heart shapes
- Bake for 15-20 minutes till just golden then allow to cool on a wire rack completely
- Melt the white chocolate in a Bain Marie/bowl over bubbling water or in a microwave
- Swirl the chocolate over the cookies and then sprinkle one side with the dried rose petals and pistachios
- Set aside to let the chocolate firm up