Nan-e Berenji (Persian Rice Cookies)

March 11, 2018
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes 50 cookies, for a 1/2" mold (less if using a larger mold)
Author Notes

This recipe comes from Fariba Nafissi of Zozo Baking, an Iranian confectionery that delivers sweets across the United States. With just 10 minutes of baking time, they are a breeze to make, make the house smell divine, and a great reason to break out your cookie molds.

Note: To brew saffron, grind 1 teaspoon saffron threads, throw in an ice cube, let it melt, and use that. —Louisa Shafia

What You'll Need
  • 250 grams (2 cups + 2 tbsp) rice flour
  • 125 grams ( 1 cup + 2 tbsp) powdered sugar
  • 112 grams (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rose water
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 2 tablespoons brewed saffron
  • 20 grams (2 tbsp) black poppy seeds
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 300° F and cover the baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, mix the egg yolk, sugar, and softened butter together until smooth, add rose water, cardamom powder, and rice flour, and mix until you have a soft dough. If needed, add more flour.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, dust your work surface with rice flour, and roll out your dough until it is a half-inch thick. Use a round cookie cutter to cut the dough and press with a cookie mold (if you have one)—they're still great without it. (You could use the rim of a glass.)
  4. Use a food-safe brush to decorate the middle of the cookies with saffron, sprinkle the tops with poppy seeds, place on the baking tray leaving an inch in between, bake for 300°F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before moving them. Keep them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • KKD
  • Sheida Sepahpoor
    Sheida Sepahpoor
  • Susan Phare Boback
    Susan Phare Boback
  • Fariba
  • Louisa Shafia
    Louisa Shafia
My cookbook The New Persian Kitchen is a winner of Food52's Piglet award. I love cooking Iranian rice and hearing people crunch on the crispy tahdig from the bottom of the pot. I'm passionate about sharing the ingredients and techniques for making Persian food in my writing, cooking classes, and online store, Feast By Louisa where you can find my Persian Spice Set, Tahdig Kit, and other goodies.

23 Reviews

KKD January 1, 2019
Sorry to report that I had the same issue as 'siskaleh.' I found the original recipe of Zozo's and it is different... less rice flour. Suggest editing.
Sheida S. October 7, 2018
I baked these cookies the other day and they came out perfect. I do have a question about cookie press, where can I find smaller cookie presses?
[email protected] March 31, 2018
Made the Nane Berenji yesterday, I am so sorry to write, the paste didn't combined it stayed crumbs, even though I have followed the recipe as is. As it didn't combined added the white of one egg and it did combined but after baking them they were so hard and not tasty at all, as I am Iranian I am familiar with these tasty cookies and it's been quite a while I looking for and searching for a good recipe however without success. Throw the cookies. What a shame!!!!
Fariba April 3, 2018
I'm sorry to hear you didn't have success with the recipe. Just wondering if you used a food processor to make the dough?
[email protected] April 4, 2018
Dear Fariba, sure I did use food processor. I always follow the recipe, especially for the first time.
Mary E. January 26, 2019
I tried but it wouldn't come together. It was adding the butter, as in another recipe that made the cookie able to be made.
pie4u March 29, 2018
50+ cookies? Rolled out to 1/2 inch thick those would be tiny cookies. I got 15 3 inch cookies. 3 inches is the size of my cookie mold.
Fariba April 3, 2018
my cookie mold for this recipe is 1/2 inch thick, I would invite you to visit my page:, unfortunately, they have used a large cookie press and didn't adjust the quantities
Natalie March 24, 2018
Hi! I'm slightly confused by the sugar quantity. 1 cup of sugar weights about 200g, so is the recipe calling for 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup sugar, or 1 cup powdered sugar (which would make the weight listing correct)?
Fariba March 27, 2018
@LutinaB Good question! The saffron in this recipe is just for decoration. Just follow @LouisaShafia direction and in no time you will have a rich and gorgeous color saffron.
Fariba March 27, 2018
Dear Natalie, thank you for noticing the error, it's actually powdered sugar.
LuTinaB March 18, 2018
I'm confused about the "Brewed Saffron" and not seeing where to add it in the recipe. Am I missing something? Do I brew (steep) the saffron in water? If so how much saffron and how much water? Where is it added in the recipe?
Louisa S. March 18, 2018
Great question! Brewed saffron means saffron threads that have been ground and dissolved in liquid. Since this is Fariba's recipe I can't be exactly sure, but it would be a safe bet to grind 1 teaspoon saffron threads, throw in an ice cube, let it melt, and use that as your brewed saffron.
Fariba March 27, 2018
@LutinaB Good question! The saffron in this recipe is just for decoration. Just follow @LouisaShafia direction and in no time you will have a rich and gorgeous color saffron.
[email protected] March 18, 2018
Thanks ever so much for the Nan-e Berenji recipe, could you pls advice the rice flour you are using? Is the flour ground like a powder? I reside in Israel and the rice flour I have found here is a bit coarse. Do you thin I should ground it at home once again. Appreciate your support and advice.
Louisa S. March 18, 2018
Yes I think the rice flour Fariba is referring to is very fine, so you should definitely grind it again for a smoother textured cookie.
[email protected] March 19, 2018
Thanks ever so much for your prompt reply and advice. Happy Nowrooz
Anil G. March 14, 2018
Please could you advise as to where in the UK can I buy the mould so that I can get the pattern above. Thank you
qktiles March 18, 2018
I think this Nordicware stamp set might be where that stamp came from...if not, it's pretty close (and ought to be available in the UK):
Claire B. March 18, 2018 or ebay
Louisa S. March 27, 2018
Also check out the cookie presses/cookie stamps that Fariba has for sale at Zozo Baking, they're gorgeous:
Susan P. March 12, 2018
Interesting info on dates for sweeteners. Here in the upper Great Lakes region, Scandinavians have long used cardamom and saffron in sweet breads, but I've never added the cardamom to coffee or tea. Looking forward to using dates, too. Thank you!
Louisa S. March 27, 2018
That is so fascinating. I would love to try baking one of those Scandinavian sweet breads with Silk Road spices.