Introduction: Persian Tea Cookies
A great deal of what goes on in my kitchen happens by a) mistake b) neglect or c) just dumb luck. Ergo, I am far from the greatest cook, although I could be considered the 1) most experimental 2) luckiest or 3) most necessary to avoid cook. Depending on the recipe.
Persian Tea cookies have never been a staple in our Christmas traditions. However, since moving to Japan, I've been trying to come up with a tasty treat that involves liberal amounts of rice flour. (The connection is shaky, I know. Whatever does rice have to do with Japan?) But I whipped up this recipe (see "c" above) and concocted a batch the other day and boy howdy, new holiday tradition it is. (see "2" above) And wheatless, too! I love ya, gluten-freers!
Step 1: Persian Tea Cookies: the Ingredients
First, the ingredients. You'll need:
2 1/2 cups rice flour (I imagine it's pretty easy to find in any grocery store larger than a 7-11, but please feel free to correct me in the comments)
2 cups white sugar
3 eggs, separated into whites and yolks (I don't usually encourage egg segregation but it's necessary here)
1 cup of unsalted butter (don't skimp and try butter-like spread. Just...don't.)
1 tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
cinnamon to taste (I personally don't like it, but I've been told it's divine if you do)
(Notice the picture includes yogurt. Don't be fooled! That was my breakfast.)
(Also, fluffy baby head in the corner is not included.)
Step 2: Persian Tea Cookies: the Assembly
1. Separate your egg whites from the yolks. Don't know how to do this? Simple! Crack the egg in half and pass the yolk back and forth between the two halves over a bowl. The white part should come a-tumbling down. If it doesn't, you either a) have a hard boiled egg or b) should try again. If you've done it a dozen times and you still can't separate them, go to the store and just buy some cookies. Holidays are for relaxing, not feeling stupid.
2. Mix the flour and the baking powder together and set aside. If the baking powder and flour don't mix, give them a heartfelt lecture about tolerance. Perhaps play some Barry White.
2. Mix the sugar with the egg yolk. This will look surprisingly weird, like really undercooked eggs. DON'T GET DISCOURAGED.
3. Add softened butter (not melted! For the love of eggnog, do not melt it!) to the egg/sugar mix. It will now look like very fluffy scrambled eggs.
4. Add honey and vanilla to the fluffy scrambled eggs. Resist urge to make bacon. Add a dash of cinnamon if that's your thing.
5. Mix the scrambled eggs with the (hopefully now amorous) flour mix. THIS WILL LOOK WEIRD AND POWDERY AS WELL. Suck it up. (not literally.)
6. Now, remember those egg whites you set aside? Now is the time on Sprokets where we mix in that. Give it a few minutes under the beater and the dough should look like sugar cookie or snickerdoodle dough.
Next: the baking!
Step 3: Persian Tea Cookies: the Baking
Roll your bits of dough into balls and flatten them. Feel free to decorate with a pastry stamp (I don't know if that's a real thing, I just made it up), a fork or a knife. I decided to do it with a knife.
After I did the first one, my husband told me it looked satanic.
After the second one, he said it looked like the logo on the Greendale Community College flag.
Then the third one: "Are those X-men badges?"
Well, X-men badges were better than the first two, so I stuck with that.
Bake at 325 for 8 minutes until very very light brown around the edges. Watch them, though! I have a tiny convection oven sitting at sea level here and your mileage may vary.
Step 4: Persian Tea Cookies: the Reckoning
OM NOM NOM.
Due to the nature of the rice flour, you may find this cookie to be, although delicious beyond your wildest Persian tea fantasies, a bit different from cookies made with wheat flour. I advise eating these with a cuppa delicious hot chocolate or some hot peppermint tea. If coffee's your thing, you can try that, too. Or heck, down them with heavily spiked eggnog if that makes the holidays go better. I ain't judging.
Merry eating and happy holidays! Stay frosted, my friends.
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