Sunday, July 18, 2004

Nan Berenji - Iranian Rice Shortbread Cookies

Nan Berenji
Iranian Rice Shortbread Cookies

These are similar to ghorabeyeh; the addition of eggs results in a fluffy, delicate texture. If rice flour is unavailable, grind raw rice or cream of rice to a fine powder in a coffee or spice grinder.

Dough preparation 1/2 hour
Refrigeration Overnight
Baking time 1-1/2 hours

1/2 lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. cardamom
2 tbsp. rosewater
2-1/4 cups rice flour
1/4 cup poppy seeds

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating constantly until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the cardamom and rosewater. Add the rice flour a quarter cup at a time, beating until the mixture is smooth. Form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375F. For each cookie, roll a teaspoon of dough into a ball, press it onto a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Bake for 10 minutes on the center rack of the oven, until the cookies are firm but still white. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for several minutes before removing them to a rack to cool. Store in an airtight container until serving.