Chickpeas are popular in Persian cooking. This recipe calls for a special roasted chickpea flour that is triple-sifted; it is available at Mediterranean markets and helps create the distinctive, sandy and quite tender texture of these cookies.
If you have chickpea powder left over, use it to thicken or bind soups, stews and meatballs.
Make Ahead: The dough needs to be refrigerated for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
Servings: 35 - 40 small cookies
- 1 cup canola oil (may substitute unsalted, clarified butter)
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 to 3 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups triple-sifted, roasted chickpea flour (see headnote)
- 1/4 cup slivered raw pistachios, for garnish
Combine the oil, sugar, cardamom (to taste), salt and rose water in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on low speed to combine, then increase the speed to medium and beat for about 5 minutes, until light and creamy. Stop to scrape down the bowl. Add 3 1/2 cups of the chickpea flour and beat on low speed for 1 minute or until the dough is no longer sticky; add some or all of the remaining chickpea flour as needed.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper, then dust it with some of the remaining chickpea flour. Place the dough on the dusted surface; knead until the dough is soft and pliable.
Flatten the dough and shape it into a 3/4-inch-thick square. Cover the dough with a large sheet of plastic wrap; gently use a rolling pin to even out the surface of the dough without losing any thickness. Refrigerate for 1 to 24 hours; this will make the dough easier to cut.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper.
Unwrap the dough. Use a 1 1/4-inch cloverleaf-shaped cookie cutter to form 35 to 40 cookies, spacing them 1/2 inch apart on the baking sheets. Insert a sliver of pistachio vertically at the center of each cookie.
Bake one sheet at a time (on the middle oven rack) for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cookie bottoms are a light golden color. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool; bake the second sheet of cookies.
When the cookies on the first sheet have thoroughly cooled, use an offset spatula to transfer them to a platter or storage container; be careful, as these cookies crumble easily.
Adapted from "Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies" (25th Anniversary Edition, Mage, 2011), by Washington cookbook author Najmieh Batmanglij.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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