Naan Nokhodchi, also known as Shirini Nokhodchi, are among the many delicious Persian cookies that are associated with celebration and hospitality. Flavored with cardamom and rose water, they are perfect with a cup of black tea or coffee, and are a great treat at any time of day.
These small, delicate, and melt-in-your-mouth cookies are made with ghee and chickpea (garbanzo) flour. So yes, Iranians were creating and enjoying gluten-free cookies long before the gluten-free craze that has now taken over grocery store shelves.
Naan Nokhodchi originated in the city of Qazvin, and hold a particular significance in Iranian cuisine. They are most often served during special occasions and holidays, particularly at Nowruz (Persian New Year) or Shab-e Yalda (Winter Solstice).
Making these cookies is a fun and easy way to bring a taste of Iranian cuisine into your home, and to join the celebration for Nowruz. You can add additional toppings to your Naan Nokhodchi, like ground or slivered pistachios, or a sprinkling of poppy seeds to give them a little extra crunch and flavor.
You can store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week, or in the freezer for up to a month.
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted (50 g)
- 1 tiny pinch salt
- 7 tablespoons ghee, room temperature (50 g)
- 1 teaspoon cardamom, ground
- 1 teaspoon rosewater
- 1 cup roasted chickpea flour, sifted (100 g)
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine the powdered sugar, salt, ghee, cardamom and rosewater.
- Using a rubber spatula, mix all the ingredients until they are fully combined.
- Add the chickpea (garbanzo) flour and begin mixing using your hands. The mixture will be dry and crumbly to start with, but continue to knead and squeeze the dough, and the heat of your hands will allow the ghee and flour to come together. This step can take up to 5 minutes.
- Flatten the dough into a 1/2 inch thick square and wrap with Saran wrap. Rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- After the dough has rested, remove from the Saran wrap and place on the counter. Make sure that the top surface of the cookie dough is flat, using your hands or a small rolling pin if necessary.
- Select a small cookie cutter, typically less than an inch wide, and carefully cut out the cookies and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Keep in mind that these cookies are quite delicate, so extra care is needed.
- While these cookies won't rise or spread, be sure to leave about an inch of space between them to allow hot air to circulate.
- Bake at 300 degrees F for about 13-15 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before attempting to remove them from the baking sheet, otherwise they may crumble.
- Using a small spatula carefully remove the cookies from the tray and place on serving platter.
- These cookies have a long shelf life, but do store them in an airtight container or place in the freezer for long term storage.