Nan-e Barenji are velvety flavorful rice flour cookies traditionally made for Nowruz or Persian New Year.
Our Fill the Cookie Jar theme this month is healthy or new. Be sure to scroll below the recipe to see what the other FTCJ Bloggers have created for you.
Last year I made these scrumptious Chinese Almond Cookies for a Lunar New Year take on our January theme.
This year I thought I would stick with the International New Year concept and went with these Persian cookies. Persian New Year, Nowruz, is celebrated on the first day of Spring. It makes a lot more sense to me than in the middle of winter, but who am I to argue with Julius Caesar. As a foodie I like to celebrate all of the different New Years: Lunar, Persian, Cambodian, Islamic, Jewish, etc. because New Years food is pretty awesome in each, and I can use all the good luck I can get.
I found two different versions of these cookies which if I understand correctly are due to regional differences. One is flavored with rose water and the other with cardamom. Since I had both ingredients I made half a batch of each.
I am not sure if it is my American taste buds, or if there is a difference in strength of rose water between here and Iran, but the original recipe called for 1/4 cup which was way too much in my opinion. I use this one from Nielsen-Massey (affiliate link). I started with half the amount and had to add more ingredients to tone it down even more. The recipe below states 1 tablespoon, and you could add more if you think it needs it.
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Nan-e Barenji (Persian New Year Cookies)
- 1 cup oil
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 eggs seperated
- 3 1/4 cups rice flour
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- In a mixing bowl combine oil, powdered sugar and egg yolks.
- Add flour, rose water and water (or cardamom and water).
- In a separate bowl, beat egg whites to firm peaks (when you remove the beater the "mountain" stands up straight but the tip of it folds over. A little more than soft peak, but not stiff peak).
- Fold the egg whites into the other ingredients and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Roll into tablespoon size balls and flatten with your hand, a cookie press or the tines of a fork.
- Sprinkle with poppy seeds.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the edges just start to tinge brown.
Until next time, happy eating.