Nan-e Berenji, or Persian rice cookies with poppy seeds, are one of the most traditional cookies in the Persian culture. I always looked forward to eating these cookies, along with some of my other favourite baked goodies, every Persian New Year (Norouz). So with Persian New Year approaching next week, I think it’s about time I whip up a batch of these in my own home.
But these cookies do not just surface once a year, these cookies are present at every big Persian event… every Norouz party, every engagement party, every wedding (of course, even at my own), and even every funeral. No event is complete without a tray of these classic sweets.
And I am not complaining because these cookies are irresistible and soo easy to make. They are basically “shortbread” cookies made of rice flour, no butter and a kick of rose water. Which basically means these treats are gluten-free and dairy-free. So you don’t have to feel guilty about having these. Plus, these are miniature, one-bite cookies, so go ahead and have a few… 🙂
It is kind of impossible to just have one. Somehow, when rice flour, fragrant rose water and crunchy poppy seeds comes together, the result is amazing crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth cookies. Yup, I told you. Irresistible.
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup confectioners sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 cups fine rice flour
- ¼ cup rose water
- 1-2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- In a large bowl, mix together the oil and sugar with a hand mixer on medium speed for 1-2 minutes.
- Add egg yolk and mix for another 20-30 seconds.
- Sift in the rice flour, in three batches. Using a spatula, fold in the flour into mixture after each batch is added.
- Add the rose water.
- Knead the mixture for 5-10 minutes. Shape into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat oven to 325 F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roll dough into small 1-inch balls and flatten the cookie into a small disc. Repair any cracks on the edges and place on baking sheet.
- Using the curve of a small teaspoon make overlapping arch-shaped indentation marks on the top. Sprinkle with poppy seeds.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the bottom and edges begins to turn a light golden colour.
- Let completely cool before carefully removing from baking tray.