Process almonds in a food processor 9 minutes or until a paste forms, stopping to scrape down sides.
Beat egg whites at medium speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
Combine almond paste, sugar, and cardamom in a bowl, mixing with hands until blended. Add egg whites; knead by hand until smooth and doughlike consistency.
Dip fingers in rose water, and shape dough into 1-inch balls (about 1 tablespoon dough for each cookie). Slightly flatten with thumb, and pinch sides to form star- and diamond-shaped cookies. Place cookies on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
Bake on middle rack of oven at 325° for 15 to 20 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove cookies immediately to wire racks; cool.
* Rose water can be found in Middle-Eastern markets or in health food stores. Water may be substituted.