These Persian rice cookies are infused with the beautiful flavors of cardamom and rose. They're a delicate, crumbly texture after they're baked, so they melt in your mouth with a sip of hot Persian tea!
Noon Berenji are the perfect gluten-free nibble to enjoy with tea. In a Persian home, tea is offered all day from morning until night and always served a few Persian cookies and sweets as a sweet treat.
Persian cookies like these are always small, usually less than 1-inch in diameter, making them a wonderful bite-sized treat.
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Why this Recipe Works
Noon Berenji are made with rice flour, making them gluten-free. Rice flour has a higher protein content than wheat flour, and it produces a light, fluffy texture.
This recipe uses rose water instead of rose extract. Using rose extract in cooking can often be overpowering, but a small amount of rose water goes a long way to give these cookies a kiss of rose flavor.
The dough is chilled before it is baked so the cookies don't spread in the oven. Letting the dough chill overnight (preferably) or a minimum of 2 hours helps the flavor develop while it is resting and allows the sugar to infuse into the dough.
The dough is kneaded/mixed for a minimum of 5 minutes, which helps bind the dough and keep the cookies from falling apart.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Powdered sugar - also known as confectioners sugar.
White rice flour - The rice flour helps create the airy, fluffy texture in the cookies. You can use brown rice flour with success, but it isn't traditional.
Ground cardamom - This is a floral spice enjoyed in Persian desserts and tea.
Vegetable oil - this recipe works best with vegetable oil. I have made it with olive oil, but the flavor is overpowering.
Egg yolks - Do not substitute egg yolks for anything else in this recipe.
Rose water - Do not substitute for rose extract as this will be overpowering. Do not use more rose water than suggested in the recipe or the cookies will dry out and crack.
Poppy seeds - These don't add any flavor, but add a pop of texture that these cookies are known for.
How to Make this Recipe
Start by sifting together the dry ingredients in a large bowl or bowl of your stand mixer: the powdered sugar, rice flour, and ground cardamom. Fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment if using it.
Next, add the yolks, oil, and rose water. Turn the hand or stand mixer up to medium speed and mix the ingredients for 5 minutes, not less.
Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl halfway through, and at the end.
Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, and preferably overnight.
This dough makes 48 cookies, so feel free to freeze the rolled dough balls on a baking sheet, then transfer them to a zipper bag or similar once frozen.
The next step is to gently press the center of each dough ball with your thumb or a small spoon to create an indentation. Then, sprinkle a small number of poppy seeds in the center of each cookie. This is an optional addition and can be left off if you like.
Now you're ready to pop the cookies in the refrigerator while you preheat the oven to 350F.
Bake the cookies for 13-18 minutes. These cookies will always stay white in color, so don’t try to brown them. You'll know they are ready when they slide easily off the baking sheet.
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet. Brew a pot of hot tea and enjoy these cookies!
Store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days, in the refrigerator for 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
These cookies do not turn brown when fully cooked, they will always be white in color.
Noon berenji pair wonderfully with Persian tea, which you can easily make at home with my recipe here.
They are often served at weddings, tea time, and for Nowruz celebrations. At weddings and celebrations, it is customary for there to be a display of 5-6 different kinds of Persian cookies, including the most popular type, Shirini.
You'll find Noon Berenji served at Nowruz, which is a holiday celebrating the Persian New Year. It marks the beginning of spring, and the first day of the Iranian calendar.
My collection of Persian recipes includes some delightful sweets you'll fall in love with.
Noon Berenji - Cardamom Rose Cookies
- Sift together the powdered sugar, flour, and cardamom into a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment.
- Add the yolks, oil, and rose water. Turn the hand or stand mixer up to medium speed and mix the ingredients for 5 minutes, not less. Scrape the sides of the bowl halfway through and at the end.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, and preferably overnight.
- Gently press the centers of each ball with your thumb or a small spoon to create an indentation. Then, sprinkle a small number of poppy seeds in the center of each cookie.
- Pop the cookies in the refrigerator while you preheat the oven to 350F.
- Bake for 13-18 minutes. These cookies stay white in color, so don’t try to brown them. They are ready when they slide easily off the baking sheet.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet.