Saffron-Glazed Stamp Cookies

December 15, 2022
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Photo by Yossy Arefi
  • Prep time 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • makes 3 dozen cookies
Author Notes

I didn’t grow up in a holiday cookie box household, but we always made cut out cookies topped with lots of sugar and sprinkles. Now, I have fully embraced the holiday cookie box and make tons of cookies in every shape and flavor imaginable every December. These gorgeous saffron sugar cookies aren’t much harder to make than your average sugar cookie, but they include flavors inspired by my Iranian heritage. I stamp mine with handmade cookie stamps from Iran— often used to make Kolompeh, or date filled cookies—and top them with a vibrant yellow saffron glaze and some finely chopped pistachios. You can use any sort of cookie stamps or even the bottom of a decorative glass to stamp these cookies. —Yossy Arefi

What You'll Need
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Saffron-Glazed Stamp Cookies
  • Saffron Cookies
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into cubes
  • 2/3 cup (167g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (225g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Saffron Glaze
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 pinch granulated sugar
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 4 teaspoons whole milk, plus more if necessary
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • Finely chopped pistachios, to garnish, if desired
  1. Make the cookie dough: Using a mortar and pestle, grind the saffron to a fine powder. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks together then whisk in the saffron and let it sit while you prepare the rest of the dough. In the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla, cardamom, and salt and mix until well combined. With the machine running, pour the egg mixture down into the bowl and mix until combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Stop the machine and add the flour and baking powder. Pulse or mix on low until the mixture forms a rough ball. Remove the bowl from the processor or bowl. Knead the dough a few times to make sure it is evenly mixed. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, cover and press it into a disc about 1-inch thick. Chill the dough until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. When the dough has chilled, heat your oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut the dough in half. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to ¼-inch thickness. Dip cookie stamps in flour and tap off the excess. Firmly press the stamp into the dough, then use a cutter to cut the cookies into any shape you like. Transfer the cookies to the baking sheets, spacing them evenly apart. Re-roll the dough scraps and continue to stamp and cut the dough until the dough is used up. Bake the cookies until they are just set and slightly firm to the touch, 7 to 10 minutes. You do not want them to brown.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Using a mortar and pestle, finely grind the saffron and granulated sugar. Add the saffron to a small bowl and add the milk. Let the mixture steep for 5 minutes. Add the confectioner’s sugar and whisk until smooth, adding more milk as necessary to make a glaze the texture of Elmer’s glue. Remove the cookies from the oven, let them rest for 5 minutes then carefully brush on the glaze and sprinkle with pistachios, if desired.

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Yossy Arefi is a photographer and stylist with a passion for food. During her stint working in restaurant kitchens, Yossy started the blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. where, with her trusty Pentax film camera, she photographs and writes about seasonal desserts and preserves. She currently lives in Brooklyn but will always love her native city of Seattle. Follow her work at &

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