Nan-e Berenji (Persian Rice Cookies)

March 11, 2018
Photo by James Ransom
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

  • Makes 50 cookies, for a 1/2" mold (less if using a larger mold)
  • 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
In This Recipe
  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.

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  • Sheida Sepahpoor
    Sheida Sepahpoor
  • Susan Phare Boback
    Susan Phare Boback
  • Fariba
  • Louisa Shafia
    Louisa Shafia
I'm fascinated by the way food connects us with different times, places, and each other. I live in Nashville, TN, a city rich with culinary traditions and a fast growing immigrant population. As Culinary Liaison for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, I organize events that unite people around food and spotlight the work of immigrant chefs. 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. Find my Persian Rice Bonnet and Persian Spice Kit on my website and on Etsy.