Nan-e Berenji (Persian Rice Cookies)

By Louisa Shafia
March 11, 2018
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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
  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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