Crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, these cookies bring all the flavors of Persian Love cake into a cookie that bursts with florals, lemon and warm cardamom.
The idea for these cookies came from Persian Love Cake, a Yasmin Khan recipe from her book The Saffron Tales. Of the flavors of her very special cake she says, “of a Persian garden in the late spring, adorned with the floral scent of rose water and citrus, and decorated with bright green pistachios”. As someone who grew up surrounded by those wonderful flavors I’m immediately transported back into that, and a feeling of nostalgia for it all.
I’ve always been fascinated by this cake, we tried it here once, I loved it and whenever I see photos of it, I find myself lusting after the colors, the flavors, the sweetness that comes from mixing spices, lemon zest, vanilla and warm cardamom. I decided I wanted to make a cookie version, I would you know, and I cannot emphasize to you enough how just *perfect* these are.
Persian Love Cookies Ingredients
Almond flour: not almond meal*, almond flour is made from blanched almonds so you won’t get any of the nut’s skin which gets in the way of the dough binding and will have a rougher texture.
Cardamom: Ground cardamom. Yasmin might suggest grinding your own from seeds for a fresh taste but
Rose water: I only use it in the glaze but Yasmin has it in the cake instead. You can find this in local persian/middle eastern markets but I also see it in whole foods these days.
Lemon: Zest goes into the cookie and the juice helps make the glaze. The lemon really rounds out all the flavors here.
Pistachios: I used green pistachios here, they are pricey and hard to find but if you do they add a lovely bright green color. Of course, regular pistachios (chopped) will work just as well.
Dried rose petals: Yes, these are edible. You’ll find these in your local persian or middle eastern markets
Questions about Persian Love Cookies
Can these be made gluten free?
Try a 1-to-1 flour substitute and add all of the flour in the beginning (no need to hold off on half).
Why do I wait to add half the flour?
My theory is that as the dough rests (which I like to do with an almond flour bake because it’s quite coarse) the flours absorb some of the liquid and the dough firms up. We don’t want to overdo this part with the gluten flour, so we’ll reserve some of the flour to go in right before they bake.
How do I get evenly sized cookies?
Use an ice cream scoop (now commonly also called cookie scoops).
How best to drizzle on the glaze?
Once the cookies are cool, do it right on the parchment to catch any excess glaze dripping down. Use a spoon to drizzle or a whisk.
Persian Love Cookies Recipe
Persian Love Cookies
- ½ cup butter 113g
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar 140g
- ½ tsp ground cardamom more if you like a stronger taste
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 cup almond flour 125g
- 130 g all purpose flour 1 cup , divided
- 1 cup powdered sugar 125g
- 1 tsp rose water
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Juice of a lemon
- Ground pistachios
- Dried rose petals
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Add the sugar, vanilla, cardamom lemon zest and salt and whisk for a good 2 minutes, until very well combined.
- Whisk in the egg.
- Add the baking soda, almond flour and half of the all purpose flour and whisk to combine. Let the batter sit in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, for at least 30 minutes then add the other half of flour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Scoop the cookies onto a parchment lined aluminum baking sheet using a 2 tablespoon scoop.
- Bake for 10 minutes. They’ll look puffy when they come out and will fall a little and crinkle as they cool.
- Once they are completely cool, make the glaze:
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, rose water, vanilla and enough lemon juice to make a pourable glaze (it can be thick with less lemon juice or thin with more, your choice). Drizzle it over the cookies and immediately sprinkle on the dried rose petals and pistachio chunks.
- Cookies keep for 3-4 days, in an airtight container.