Iranian Rice Cookies (Nan–e Berenji)

  • Serves

    makes About 90 Cookies


These crumbly rice flour cookies are made using a sugar syrup infused with rose water, a classic ingredient in Middle Eastern sweets. The recipe is adapted from Najmieh Batmanglij's Food Of Life (Mage Publishers, 2011).


For the Syrup

  • 34 cup sugar
  • 14 tsp. rosewater

For the Cookies

  • 34 tsp. sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 13 cup clarified butter or ghee
  • 2 12 tbsp. canola oil
  • 12 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 14 cup syrup
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds


Step 1

Make the syrup: Combine sugar and ¼ cup water in a 1-qt. saucepan over high; stir until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add rosewater. Cool until ready to use.

Step 2

Make the cookies: Heat oven to 350°. Combine sugar and yolk in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer until creamy; set aside. In another bowl, combine rice flour, clarified butter, oil, and cardamom; add yolk mixture and mix until evenly combined. Add syrup and mix until combined. Set aside to cool. Roll dough into ⅛ oz. balls, about ¾” thick, and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Gently flatten each ball; using the grooved sides of a meat mallet (alternatively, use a fork), press grooves into cookies to create a pattern. Sprinkle with poppy seeds and bake, rotating halfway through, until cooked, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheets as cookies are quite delicate while hot.