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In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour and sugars. Using forks, a pastry blender or your hands, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse corn meal. In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolk, cream, rose water, and salt until well blended and smooth. Stir, then knead, the egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture until evenly incorporated.
Divide the dough in half. Roll each portion between sheets of waxed paper, until 1/4" thick. Stack the rolled portions, paper still attached, on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or freeze for about 15 minutes to speed the chill.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease several baking sheets.
Working with 1 portion at a time, and leaving the remaining dough chilled, gently peel away the top sheet. Using a roughly 2" shape, cut out the cookies. Use a spatula, if necessary to transfer the cookies to the baking sheet, about 1-1/4 inches apart. Reroll any dough scraps.
Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the middle third of the oven for 9-13 minutes, or until just lightly browned at the edges. Immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack. Cool completely.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months.
If at any point the dough softens too much to handle easily, transfer the paper and dough to the refrigerator or freezer.
Photo by Cathy Michaels.
This recipe was provided by The Spice House.