For as long as I remember these delicate and brittle little cookies were present at the tables and spreads of a Persian home. Most significantly these cookies would have their place at the Nowruz table (Persian New Year), which would also meet the company of a variety of other sweet treats, dried nuts, and fruits. These cookies are so popular among Iranians that you typically ended up just buying them from the neighborhood bakery. I actually don’t ever remember my mom making them!
These days, I drive about 15 miles (each way – but only uphill in one direction!) to the nearest Persian bakery and grocery store to stock up on my pantry items. I am frequently tempted by the sight and scent of all these familiar treats that take me back to the sweet memories of my childhood. I do indulge!
I also love cooking and baking and experimenting with the food of my childhood, and some of them I am making for the first time in my life. This is one of those recipes that I have played around with and after a few batches of experimentation, I have found this to be the one!
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 cup butter, chilled
- 1 1/2 cup rice flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon cardamom
- 5 tablespoons rosewater
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon pistachios, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon rose petals, optional
- In a food processor, combine the confectioner’s sugar, egg yolk and butter and mix for a few seconds until creamy and smooth.
- Continue by adding the flour, salt, cardamom, and rose water and mix for about 30 seconds or until you have a smooth dough.
- Remove from the food processor and place in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. The dough can remain refrigerated overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- You can roll out the dough (1/2 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface and use a very small (1 inch) round cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. OR using a tablespoon measure, pull out a small amount of dough and using your hands turn the dough into a small round ball and place on the baking sheet.
- Keep the cookies about an inch apart to make sure they don’t bake into one another. The number of cookies will depend on the size of the cookies you created.
- Press each cookie down to make sure they are flat and using a fork make indentations on the cookies (much like traditional peanut butter cookies).
- Sprinkle half of the cookies with poppy seeds and the other half with pistachios and rose petals.
- Bake in the oven for up to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies.
- Caution: These cookies are quite brittle and crumbly when they come out of the oven. Remove from the oven, leave on the cookie sheet until completely cooled.
- Once cooled, remove from the baking pan and keep them in an airtight container and refrigerate for freshness.