Persian new year (Norouz) is fast approaching. One of the biggest Norouz traditions is baking delicious sweets. The cardamom, rose water, and nutty aromas that are filling my kitchen right now is basically my idea of heaven. Over the next few weeks I will be in a baking frenzy and will essentially be running what will look like an Iranian bakery, right out of my kitchen. First up on the menu: nan-e nokhodchi aka. Persian chickpea cookies with pistachio.
Don’t let the chickpea component put you off. This is made with fine chickpea flour which results in a crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth cookie, coupled with the amazing flavours of rose water, cardamom and pistachio. And did I mention that these cookies are gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan? Yup, anyone can have a bite!
Traditionally, these cookies are made with mini clover-shaped cookie cutters. But if like me, you cannot get your hands on this specific shape, any miniature cookie cutter will do. Go wild and make little flowers, hearts, stars or ovals. I used the Wilton mini cookie cutter set.
Pair these chickpea cookies with a nice, hot cup of Persian tea and you are all set for the new year.
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon finely ground cardamom
- ½ tablespoon rose water
- 1 and ¾ cups fine chickpea flour
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped or ground pistachios
- Combine the oil, sugar, cardamom and rose water in bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix on medium for 2-3 minutes until light and creamy.
- Sift chickpea flour into the bowl and beat on low for 1 minute until the dough is no longer sticky.
- Dust your work surface with some chickpea flour and knead the dough for 10 minutes until it is more workable. The dough is very crumbly.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and set aside for 2 hours. Do not refrigerate.
- Preheat oven to 300 F and line baking tray with parchment paper.
- Roll out the dough on a dusted work surface until it is ¾-inch thick. Cut out cookies using a 1-inch clover-shaped cookie cutter and place the cookies on the baking tray, spaced 1 inch apart. Re-roll and repeat until all the dough is used up.
- Sprinkle chopped pistachios on top of each cookie.
- Place cooking tray in middle rack and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cookies turn a light golden colour.
- Remove cookies from oven and let it cool on tray for a few minutes. Then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Be careful when you transfer the cookies as they crumble very easily.
- Chickpea flour can be found at your local Middle Eastern or Mediterranean food market, specialty food stores, or online.
- Rose water can be found at your local Middle Eastern food market or online.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.