Persian Cardamom Shortbread (GF; bookmarked recipe)

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summary: recipe for Persian Cardamom Shortbread – gluten-free cookies; using brown rice flour instead of white rice flour doesn’t ruin the cookies; the thrill of having gluten-free cookies not taste like they were made in the sandbox; really? no pictures?? too bad, because the cookies were lovely; information about Bookmarked Recipes

Bookmarked Recipes - last Sunday of the MonthBookmarked Recipes

Why oh why did I choose this moment to read a recipe’s instructions carefully?!

:stomp: I cannot believe we didn’t take pictures!! :stomp:

Surprisingly, Duguid and Alford don’t include a photo of the cookies either in the photograph-laden HomeBaking. Happily, Jasmine (Confessions of a Cardamom Addict) did though, when she made them. I immediately bookmarked the recipe. Month after month and year after year, I kept promising myself that we HAD to make them. And finally, after seeing the recipe again while we were just finishing reading “HomeBaking” by Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford, we decided it was time.

Why oh why oh why did we wait so long?!

We keep trying to go to Iran, but we haven’t figured out how to get a visa to travel there independently. […] From all the Persian baking we have tasted made by Iranians living outside the country, such as these delicate cardamom cookies made entirely from rice flour, we know that what we’d find in Iran would be truly dazzling.
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg yolk
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddles, beat together the butter and sugar until pale. Add the egg yolk
– Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford, Persian Cardamom Cookies, p.415

But silly us. We followed the recipe in the book instead of Jasmine’s take on it. We foolishly and obediently melted the butter. Melted butter? Well rats. Why on earth did we do that, instead of following Jasmine’s lead (not to mention use our heads) by using softened butter and creaming the sugar into it?

Because really, who needs to use a stand mixer to make cookies?! Needless to say, we used a bowl and a wooden spoon (I don’t even know what “stand mixer fitted with paddles” means).

By mixing the sugar into melted butter, we ended up with a soupy mess. Thank goodness for the refrigeration step!

Well… we mostly followed the book’s recipe. Duguid and Alford call for a large egg yolk. First of all, the farm that we get eggs from has new chickens. So all the eggs are small. We made an executive decision to substitute a small egg for a large egg yolk. And when the eggs in our fridge are large again, we’ll simply use a large egg. How can it matter?

Below is the recipe we followed, or rather, should have followed and will follow next time. If you would prefer to weigh the
ingredients, take a look at Jasmine’s site; she has posted the recipe with the measurements in grams

Persian Cardamom Shortbread
based on a recipe in “Home Baking” by Naomi Duguid and Jeffery Alford

  • 1 c sweet butter, very soft (next time, we’ll use salted butter)
  • 1 c icing sugar
  • 1 small egg (the book calls for a large egg yolk but that just seemed like too much trouble)
  • 1 tsp cardamom seeds, finely ground
  • 2 c brown rice flour
  • salt to taste (we used about 1/2 tsp)
  • ~2 Tbsp chopped pistachios
  1. Cream the sugar into the butter. Beat in egg and cardamom. In a separate bowl, whisk flour and salt together, then add it half cup at a time, beating well. Knead the dough in the bowl – use a little more rice flour if it seems too sticky.
  2. Cover the dough in the bowl with plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight (we refrigerated overnight)
  3. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and place on parchment covered cookie sheets. Duguid and Alford write “Use a thimble or a fork to press a pattern onto the top of each cookie, and sprinkle some chopped pistachio on each”.
  4. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes in a preheated 375F oven (our oven tends to run a bit hot, so we baked them at 350F on the top shelf to prevent them from burning on the bottom).

Duguid and Alford mention that the cookies are quite fragile just out of the oven. Use an egg lifter to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before putting them in a tin.


:: Rice Flour: Duguid and Alford merely call for “rice flour”, not specifying what kind. Our health food store only had brown rice flour, so that’s what we used. (I confess I was quite nervous that the cookies would end up being horribly sandy. My fears were not realized even remotely. :-) )

:: Pistachios: Californian pistachios are fine to use. But if they’re available, the smaller Iranian pistachios are way better.

Did I mention that these cookies are gluten-free? In a good way? (Surely I am not the only one who automatically thinks “glutton-free” because I just know they’re going to taste ridiculously healthy and have a pebbly texture.)

Yes, indeed, we loved these cookies. I think they may have to become one of our standard Christmas cookies.

We gave some of the cookies to friends who have to be on a gluten-free diet. (Poor them – it’s not easy to ensure that there really are no glutens in food….) And we ate the last of the cookies for dessert last night. They were delicious!

I still cannot believe we didn’t take at least one photo! Remind me to do that when we make more of these cookies for Christmas.

Bookmarked Recipes - monthly Bookmarked Recipes Some time ago, Ruth (Ruth’s Kitchen Experiments) created this event to urge herself (and everyone else) to actually make the several recipes they have bookmarked in various books, magazines and internet pages. For a time, Jacqueline (Tinned Tomatoes) took over hosting the event. Because she is vegetarian, she asked that submitted recipes be vegetarian OR that alternatives be given for how to make the dish vegetarian.
However, “Bookmarked Recipes”, is no longer officially happening. You might like to look at previous bookmarked recipes:



Eat Christmas Cookies:


This entry was posted in baking, bookmarked, cakes, pastries, cookies, etc., cookbooks, etc., dessert, food & drink, posts with recipes, vegetarian, whine on by .

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