Persian Rosettes | Window Cookies (nan panjareh)

These Persian Rosettes, nan panjareh (window cookies), are delicate treats. Similar to funnel cakes, they are deep fried and dusted with powdered sugar.

Persian Rosettes | Window Cookies (nan panjareh) by FamilySpice.com

Those that know me, know that I am quiet and private person. Although I have strong opinions, my blog is a place for me to express myself creatively, not politically. I am half Persian, half American with a Jewish and Bahai background. We lived in Iran when I was very young, and left for the U.S. right before the revolution in 1978. I grew up in Houston, Texas and my mother frequently dragged me to our neighborhood Presbyterian church during the turbulent Iran-Iraq war years seeking peace and prayer. And what do I do when I get older? I marry a very Americanized Persian man who was raised Muslim.

Although we may not follow any one particular religion, my husband and I are very spiritual and we have raised our kids to be respectful of other’s religions. We say our prayers together, we celebrate Christmas, Persian New Year and a few other random holidays. And about 3 years ago, several of us “nearly Jews” started to get together to celebrate Hanukkah.

Menorah by Familyspice.com

We celebrate with a potluck of the traditional meal: brisket, latkes, kugel, challah and such. The kids play with the dreidel (and video games!) and gamble with their chocolate coins. Those that know the Hebrew prayer, recite what they know and the candles are lit.

Brisket and Kugel for Hanukkah by FamilySpice.com

For dessert, I started bringing Persian Rosettes (nan panjareh). Their name translates to “window cookies.” They do look like intricate windows, don’t they?

Rosettes are a traditional pastry found in many countries: Sweden, Norway, Finland, Turkey, Mexico, Sri Lanaka, Malaysia and Iran. Similar to the funnel cake, the nan panjareh are deep fried and then dusted with powdered sugar. You use a rosette iron, though, to form the shape, instead of drizzling the batter haphazardly into the oil.

Persian Rosettes | Window Cookies (nan panjareh) by FamilySpice.com

Although the process is time consuming, the results are worth it. The rosette iron must be heated in the hot oil prior to dipping it into the batter. This allows the batter to stick to the intricate design of the rosette mold. Once dipped into the batter, you deep fry the rosette, shaking the cookie off the iron to continue cooking until golden brown.

The key to successful rosette-making is dipping the rosette iron into the hot oil right before you dip it into the batter – each and every time. We dust our rosettes with powdered sugar, but you can make a simple icing (powdered sugar with water) and drizzle that over your rosettes instead. One big difference between the Persian nan panjareh and other rosette recipes is that the Persian batter has no sugar. The sweetness is added after the cookies are fried.

rosettes_prep600

I fried these rosettes in extra virgin olive oil. Don’t think you can do that? Well, you can. You can read more about frying with olive oil here.

These beautiful rosettes resemble delicate snowflakes, which make them festive cookies for this time of the year. Perfect for a winter party, Christmas, Hanukkah or (if you are Persian) the first day of spring for Nowruz, the Persian New Year. A very multi-cultural treat, if you ask me.

Persian Rosettes aka Window Cookies (nan panjereh)

Although the Rosette can be found in many countries and cultures, these delicate cookies from Iran are scented with rosewater and dusted with powdered sugar. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs, large
  • 1 TBS rose water
  • 3 cup extra virgin olive oil, *
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 TBS pistachios, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp crushed rose petals, dried, (optional)

Directions:

  1. Using an electric mixer, combine until a thick paste is formed:
    • 2/3 cup cornstarch
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup milk
  2. In a second bowl, whisk together:
    • 4 eggs, large
    • 1 TBS rose water
  3. Stir egg mixture into the flour mixture until combined thoroughly.
  4. In a heavy stainless-steel pot with high sides or deep fryer, heat to 380ºF/193ºC:
    • 3 cup extra virgin olive oil , *
  5. It is extremely important that the oil is hot and ready. Test the oil by adding a drop of batter to the hot oil. If it bubbles and turns golden brown in about 20 seconds, the oil is ready.
  6. Submerge your rosette iron completely into the hot oil and hold it down for 2 minutes until the iron is piping hot. If the iron is not hot, the rosette batter will not stick to the irons.
  7. Once heated, dip the hot iron into the batter. DO NOT COVER THE TOP OF THE ROSETTE MOLD WITH BATTER!! Allow the batter to go up the sides of your rosette form, but do not cover the top or you will not be able to remove the rosette from the iron.
  8. Quickly submerge batter-covered rosette iron into the hot oil. Bubbles will form and surround your rosette.
  9. After 5-10 seconds, gently shake the rosette off the iron and continue to fry until golden, flipping the cookie over to brown evenly. Use a knife or chopsticks to help slide the rosette off the iron. Rosette should be golden and finished frying in about 30 seconds.
  10. Using a slotted spoon, chopsticks or small strainer remove rosette from hot oil and place on a tray lined with paper towels to remove excess oil.
  11. Reheat rosette iron in hot oil and continue frying the rosettes in the same manner until batter is finished up.
  12. Periodically, remove any fried bits from your oil. Add more oil, as needed.
  13. If rosettes are browning too quickly and burning, reduce the heat of the oil.
  14. Once cooled, transfer rosettes to serving platter and dust with:
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 3 TBS pistachios , finely chopped (optional)
    • 1 tsp crushed rose petals, dried , (optional)

Notes:

Serving Suggestions: Rosettes keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container. They will soften slightly, depending on how humid the environment is. You can crisp them up again in a toaster oven prior to serving if this happens.
Cooking Tips: * Yes, you CAN fry with extra virgin olive oil. Read more here. You can also use vegetable oil, if you prefer.

Prep Time:

Yield: 24 Cookies

Cook Time:

Total Time:


Persian Rosettes aka Window Cookies (nan panjereh) Detail

Persian Rosettes | Window Cookies (nan panjareh) by FamilySpice.com

Through food, we discover that all cultures across the world are not so different after all. Perhaps people of all religions can stop looking for what makes us different, and instead be pleasantly surprised to see how many similarities we all share.

Disclosure: As I am part of the Darling Dozen, I did receive a stipend from Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs™ to develop a recipe using their pasteurized eggs. The story I have written is all true, and the opinions are truly mine. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t blog about it.

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14 Responses to Persian Rosettes | Window Cookies (nan panjareh)

  1. Marisa at #

    Dear Laura,

    they are very creative and original cookies, I love them!! And your pictures, as always, are stunning!! What kind of camera/lense do you use?
    Great work indeed! Congrats!!

    Hugs!

    Marisa

    • Hi Marisa! Thank you again, for your sweet words. I used a Nikon D7000 nowadays and I primarily shoot with my 50mm Nikon lens. I know a lot of bloggers also use the 100mm lens, but you have to work pretty far away from the subject matter to shoot with it.

  2. Judy at #

    Hi Laura, I enjoyed your story, especially sharing similarities across various beliefs!! Regardless of beliefs we ALL share one very important practice FEEDING OTHERS!! On a day to day basis as well as celebrations we express our love for those we feed through our preparation of their food. I look forward to more stories and recipes from you as you promote acceptance of others through food!!

    • Thank you, Judy! Seriously, if we could all find common ground on a plate of pastries, what a sweet world it would be! Thank you for checking out my blog!

  3. Eha at #

    Well, better late than never! Thank you for sharing your very varied and fascinating family history with us. I had presumed Persian Muslim and had no idea of the Bahai or Jewish parts . . . methinks your children are very, very lucky to grow up in a family where religious and racial tolerance and understanding as so to speak ‘inborn’ And I have to quietly smile at your Mom taking you to the Presbyterian Church to find peace and solace during difficult times . . . as the years passed I myself found the Lutheranism into which I was born a faith I could not follow and almost without realizing fell into the beliefs of the Buddhist faith: since I do drink wine, obviously am not a good one 🙂 ! Have to find out about the rosettes – being Estonian-born am totally related to the Finns and the Swedes and Norwegians are ‘country cousins’ how come I have not come into contact with these beauties: homework!!

    • There are quite a bit of non-Muslim Persians out there, especially outside of Iran. The Baha’i community were targeted in Iran, as it is a newer religion, post-Islam and considered heresy. My Dad’s side of the family is from Lithuania – not too far from your Estonia!

      • Eha at #

        *big smile* At the moment I am back sitting on the ‘It’s a small world after all’ ride in Disneyland! Between us we and our ancestors do cover a fair slice of it . . . Thank you for your note and happy celebrations . . . .

  4. Laura, they are beautiful. I loved this post xx

  5. Karen at #

    Hey, Laura! First time posting here but I had to share that your cookies will be perfect for Hanukkah because it’s traditional to eat fried foods, e.g. latkes and Israeli sufganiyot (little doughnuts). Clearly, your Jewish side is connecting with holiday oil!

  6. Rosettes always look so great, don’t they? Love them! Never tried them myself — probably should one of these days. Still haven’t tried frying with EVOO, but you’ve convinced me that’s the way to go. Really great read about your background — thanks.

  7. Soureh Sedigh at #

    I enjoyed reading your post. Isn’t it wonderful to come from such a diverse background? I remember eating Nan Panjareh in Iran, but I can’t remember what occasion/holiday/place they were tied to exactly…you know how you associate funnel cakes with fairs here in the US and Sabzee Polo and Mahi is the dish you make for Norooz?…I can’t remember if we made/bought Nan Panjareh for certain holidays or not. I’ll have to ask my mother and let you know. Do you know what Samanoo is? My grandmother always made it for Norooz. It has a very strong and unique taste…kind of reminds me of pumpkin pie, but I doubt it has any pumpkin in it.

    I don’t have any rosette molds. Do you think I could use my standard metal cookie cutters?

    • I have never made Samanoo, but I know other Persian bloggers who have. It is made from wheat. Here’s a recipe from Azita over at Turmeric and Saffron: http://turmericsaffron.blogspot.com/2010/03/samanoo.html. I usually just buy a jar at my local Persian market for Norooz! I don’t think standard metal cookie cutters could handle the heat of frying. They tend to be thin and malleable. The rosette molds are much more sturdy. I saw some at Target a few weeks ago and they are also available on Amazon.

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