The Baking Owl

a blog written by an aspiring 17 year old baker.

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pistachio & rosewater cookies.

We’re three months into the year and a week into Spring, and I think it’s safe to say I’m finally past the post-holiday season slump that haunts me for apparently an entire quarter of the year. New year’s day has long passed (along with every resolution I’ve never once followed through on), but the Persian new year has just begun. The Persian new year, Nowruz, marks the vernal equinox, aka the first day of Spring. My Pakistani side of the family originates from Afghanistan, so this has been a holiday celebrated for many generations, bringing an onslaught of ancestral dishes and traditions.

Here in the states, there isn’t as much excitement and fervor surrounding Nowruz as there is with my family back in Pakistan, so I thought I could at least partially make up for it by bringing in some Afghan influences into my kitchen.

Pistachio, rosewater, and cardamom are classic and thoroughly loved flavors in Afghan and other central/south asian cuisines, so I experimented around and ended up with these buttery, shortbread-like pistachio & rosewater cookies. They came out to be wonderful tea cookies, carrying hints of cardamom and nostalgia from my trips to Pakistan as a child.

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Traditional Nowruz (Persian New Year) Cookies

Last week I made a traditional cookies that is made in the month of march every year in our family for several generations. This tradition is called Nowruz which celebrates the Persian New Year. Every year our family makes a special drink (with seven different kinds of dried fruits) and yummy sweet and salty cookies that we lovingly call “Nowruz Cookies”. I got this recipe from my dad’s aunt which has been in our family for 4 generations.


This was the first time I worked with semolina and let me tell you this is not an easy dough to make.  Among other ingredients there was cardamom, rose water, and pistachios.  Once I was done with making them the whole kitchen was filled with mouth watering smell of rose water, cardamom, and butter. The cookies came out with a nice light brown color- slightly crunchy from outside and soft from inside.



These cookies were so delicious except there was one minor thing. There was A LOT of butter. These cookies were practically butter melting in your mouth. They were SO good.



We gave some to my dad’s aunt and she loved them too and said they reminded her of childhood days when she used to make these Nowruz cookies with her mom- It was a great compliment for me.

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