Cookies Fit for a Prince
Welcome to my Holiday Cookie Exchange Hop recipe!
After years of living in danger, the exiled royal of my historical romance The Prince truly enjoys the simple, cozy task of preparing tea. He especially loves making tea for the young woman living in his Edinburgh home and scandalously pretending to be a young man so that she can study medicine. To honor these two lovers, I’m offering a delicious holiday cookie that pairs perfectly with tea. Bonus: it’s wheat free!
These traditional Persian rice flour cookies are enjoyed especially at the New Year (which is March 20th this year). But they’re so deliciously sweet and delightfully light that they’re perfect for any holiday. Enjoy them warm from the oven with tea or coffee, or save them in a lidded container and munch on them for days.
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Naan Berenji (Persian Cookies)
1 ½ cups white sugar
½ cup water
1 Tablespoon rose water
3 cups rice flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 egg yolks
2 Tablespoons fine sugar*
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp (NOTE: Do not allow the butter to get warm!)
½ cup vegetable oil
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract**
2 Tablespoons poppy seeds or crushed pistachios
* fine sugar is easy to make: put 3 Tbs of regular white sugar in your food processor and process until it’s like fine sand—and enjoy the sugar mist when you open the lid!
** vanilla is optional, but I’m a fan so I include it.
Prepare the Syrup
- Combine white sugar and water in a small pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir well for about 5 minutes to dissolve the sugar.
- Reduce heat and simmer for another 7-10 minutes or until the mixture thickens to one cup, whichever comes first.
- Remove from heat, stir in the rose water, and set aside to cool. THIS MUST BE ROOM TEMP when you add it below.
- In a bowl mix rice flour with powdered cardamom. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs with fine sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the butter and oil and beat well until fluffy.
- Add the vanilla to the eggs, sugar, butter and oil mixture. Then add the flour mixture.
- Gradually add in one cup of the sugar syrup and beat well with an electric mixer or electric hand mixer.
- Place the dough in a container, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about six hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Take a tablespoon of dough, flatten into round shapes in the palm of your hand and shape the surface with a cookie stamp or teaspoon. Sprinkle poppy seeds on top of cookies. Place on cookie sheet.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes on middle rack of the oven. Remove from oven and gently place cookies on cooling racks. Transfer the cookies onto your favorite plate and serve with tea or coffee.
For more cookie recipes from your favorite romance authors (including Elizabeth Essex, Piper Huguley, Jeannie Lin, and Vanessa Riley!), and to enter the Holiday Cookie Exchange Hop grand prize drawing, visit Heather McCollum’s website.
RECIPE SOURCE: I found this recipe on the wonderful Persian food blog Turmeric & Saffron, modified the instructions just a bit, and added a few notes.