Rose Water Meringue and Lemon Shortbread Swirls

, from Issue #56. October, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth .
Rose Water Meringue and Lemon Shortbread Swirls

A tender lemon biscuit encasing a crunchy meringue swirl combines two favourites in one cookie. You could also use orange flower water.


75 grams butter at room temperature
50 grams cream cheese at room temperature
3 tablespoons caster sugar
finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon thick plain yoghurt
1¼ cups plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt

1 egg white
¼ cup caster sugar
½ teaspoon rose water (optional)

To garnish
icing sugar for dusting
¼ cup freeze dried raspberries (optional)

2 x 40cm sheets baking paper


Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Shortbread: Beat the butter, cream cheese, caster sugar and lemon zest until light and creamy. Stir the egg yolk and yoghurt together and add to the butter mixture along with the combined flour, baking powder and salt. Beat until well combined.

Tip onto the bench and bring the dough together, then form into a flat disc. Roll out between the two sheets of baking paper to make a 35cm x 26cm rectangle. 

Meringue: Beat the egg white until frothy then beat in the sugar until thick and glossy. Add the rose water and beat to combine. 

To assemble: Peel off the top piece of paper then replace it loosely over the dough. Flip the whole thing over then peel off the top piece of paper. If you don’t first release the dough from both pieces of paper it will be impossible to roll up. 

Dollop the meringue over the dough and spread evenly. Using the baking paper as a guide, carefully roll up from the longest side to form a cylinder.

Using a very sharp knife gently cut into 2cm pieces and place cut side up on a lined baking tray. Don’t worry if some of the meringue spills out down the sides, just pop it back on top; it’s part of their charm when cooked. 

Bake for 20–25 minutes, turning the tray for even browning until the meringue is lightly golden and firm. Cool on the tray for 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Dust with icing sugar and sprinkle with the crumbled raspberries if using. Makes 12