25 Days of Cookies: Persian Saffron Cookies (Nan-e Keshmeshi)

These Persian Saffron Cookies (Nan-e Keshmeshi) are deceptively simple, yet have tremendous flavor and aroma.

Persian Saffron Cookies (Nan-e Keshmeshi) by Familyspice.com
If you’ve ever been to a Middle-Eastern market or visited Teh-rAngeles (the Persian pet-name for the high concentrated of Iranians in Los Angeles), you have probably seen these wonderful Persian Saffron Cookies (Nan-e Keshmeshi). My mother-in-law is an amazing cook, but she confesses she doesn’t have the patience to bake, especially Persian pastries. And since these cookies are my hubby’s FAVORITE cookie, I was on a mission to make us a batch.

Persian cuisine is all about capturing the senses, and this holds true for our desserts, too. Unlike Greek baklava, Persian baklava is sweetened with rosewater-syrup, not honey. Our rice pudding (sholeh-zard) is seasoned with saffron and cinnamon. And, these thin crispy butter cookies also highlight our love affair with saffron.

Remember, my husband is an engineer and his “critiques” about my food and recipes are incredibly detailed (and annoying!). I wasn’t sure if I was ready to take on the task of baking the cookie he loved so much. I found a few recipes online and decided to follow the recipe by the amazing Persian cook and author, Najmieh Batmanglij from her cookbook, New Food of Life. If you want a cookbook with mouth-watering pictures, fascinating stories and explanations and not to mention, fabulous Persian recipes, this is THE cookbook I would recommend. And no, nobody paid me to say that!

Persian Saffron Cookies (Nan-e Keshmeshi) by Familyspice.com

The original recipe did not include saffron, which I found odd, but that was easy to fix. Real high quality saffron is what Iran is famous for, but even Iranians are finding that saffron is more expensive than gold! So don’t be surprised to find that many bakeries are using less saffron, if any at all, and substituting with yellow food coloring. I used about 1/4 tsp of ground saffron dissolved in 2 tsp of hot water. You could always add more or less to your liking.

The hubby was ecstatic when these cookies were done. I made them over a weekend and he took the tupperware of cookies to work with him to enjoy with his morning coffee that week. The poor kids didn’t have a chance prying them away from him!

Persian Saffron Cookies (Nan-e Keshmeshi)

Saffron gives these cookies their amazing aroma and color. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice


  • 1/2 tsp saffron, ground
  • 2 tsp hot water
  • 1 cup butter, unsalted, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, large
  • 2 cup raisins
  • 2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a small bowl combine:
    • 1/2 tsp saffron , ground
    • 2 tsp hot water
  3. In a large bowl whisk together:
    • 1 cup butter, unsalted , melted
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  4. Whisk in one at a time:
    • 4 eggs, large
  5. Stir in the saffron mixture and:
    • 2 cup raisins
  6. Fold into the batter until a soft dough forms:
    • 2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  7. Drop teaspoonfuls of batter, spaced 2-inches apart, onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  8. Bake until slightly golden, 10-15 minutes.
  9. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet.
  10. Let cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.


Serving Suggestions: For more flavor dust the top of each cookie with pistachio crumbs before baking. Saffron is expensive. If you do not have that much to spare, use a little for aroma and add some yellow food coloring for the color.

Prep Time:

Yield: 30 cookies

Cook Time:

Total Time:

Persian Saffron Cookies (Nan-e Keshmeshi) Detail

Persian Saffron Cookies (Nan-e Keshmeshi) by Familyspice.com

, , ,

One Response to 25 Days of Cookies: Persian Saffron Cookies (Nan-e Keshmeshi)

  1. mangocheeks at #

    These look so beautiful and light, as if they would just melt in your mouth.

Leave a Reply