My grandmother always celebrated the first day of Spring. It was a special holiday for her.
Little did I know that her special day was called Nowruz and celebrated big by Persians around the world as the beginning of the new year. My neighbourhood Iranian bakery makes these cookies year round, however they are typically served during Nowruz.
I baked them with love to celebrate the life of my grandmother!
Shortbread cookies with a twist!
Adapted from Epicurious
1 ½ sticks of butter (170 gr), clarified
1 cup (150 gr) icing sugar
3 teaspoons (15 ml) cardamom
1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla
3 cups chickpea flour (aka as gram flour and garbanzo flour and besan) (360 gr), roasted and sifted
1 egg (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 300F and position the rack in the middle.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat icing sugar and butter on medium speed until creamy. Mix in egg, until well combined. Add cardamom and vanilla.
- Add chickpea flour and mix on very low speed. It is recommended to knead the dough by hand until it holds together.
- Shape the dough into a ¾ inch high circle and refrigerate for an hour.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut it with a cookie cutter. Sprinkle each cookie with ground pistachios.
- Place the cookies on a baking sheet covered with parchment and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Cool the cookies completely.
Note: Traditionally, the cookie dough is cut with four-leafed clover cutters.
You could either use ghee, that is available in Indian and Middle Eastern stores, or make your own clarified butter. In order to use 1 ½ sticks of clarified butter, you would need to use a bit more than 2 sticks of butter.
Roasting of the chickpea flour minimizes its beany aroma. Roast it in a heavy skillet over medium heat, until it changes color to light medium brown. Make sure that you stir it continuously to prevent it from burning. Do the flour roasting in a couple of batches so you do not overcrowd the pan and get splashed with flour when stirring it.