These Persian Rosettes, nan panjareh (window cookies), are delicate treats. Similar to funnel cakes, they are deep fried and dusted with powdered sugar. And during the winter months, they look like snowflakes, don’t they?
I love to bake. I have a weakness when it comes to sweets. When I do bake, I try to share the love and calories with friends and neighbors. I truly have zero will power!
So when the holidays come around, I’m in serious trouble. Persian sweets are no different. I love baklava and saffron cookies. And these rosettes are a huge family favorite.
Persians call rosettes, nan panjareh, which translates to ‘window cookies.’ I love making them during the holidays because they look like snowflakes. And we get zero snow here in San Diego, so these sweet delights will have to do.
Why this recipe is so awesome
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 desserts were highly influenced by the French. So it is not surprising to see typically French desserts like rosettes, cream puffs and rolettes on the Persian dessert table.
They may seem to be a complicated recipe to make, but they really are not. The technique is simple. And you get the hang of it pretty quickly. This recipe makes about 24 rosettes so you can really wow your dinner guests with a lovely platter of powdered sugar snowflakes.
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 with the powdered sugar dusted at the end.
The Persian batter also has some rosewater in it, because Persian desserts always have a bit of rosewater in it! I have made these for my children’s classroom winter parties, 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. 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.
See my How to Make Rosettes Web Story for a quick visual guide to making this recipe.
Ingredients you need
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy
- Rosewater: Persian rosettes have the addition of rosewater in the batter. This gives a slight floral fragrance to the cookies. It is optional, but I highly recommend it. You can make your own rosewater or buy it online or at middle eastern markets.
- Oil for frying: You can use any oil for frying, like canola, corn, vegetable or peanut oil. You can also deep fry with extra virgin olive oil.
- Kitchen Staples: Eggs, milk, cornstarch, all purpose flour, powdered sugar
- Garnishments: Besides powdered sugar, you can also garnish your rosettes with chopped pistachios and/or crushed dried rose petals.
1. 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. So dip the rosette forms into the hot oil for about 10-20 seconds to heat up, shake off excess oil then dip into the rosette batter.
Do not fully immerse into the batter. You do not want the batter to go over the top of the rosette iron as it will be difficult to remove during the frying process.
2. Once dipped into the batter, immediately transfer it to the deep fryer and fully immerse it in the hot oil.
3. Allow it to fry for a little bit, then gently shake the cookie off the iron to continue cooking until golden brown. You want the cookies to lightly brown before you attempt shaking them off the iron.
4. Once golden, remove from the hot oil and let it drain on paper towels. If you are not using a deep fryer that has a basket for easy removal, I like using this Stainless Steel Spider Strainer when I need to scoop something out of the hot oil.
Place the rosettes open side down so that the oil can drain out of your rosettes. Once the cookies are dry, dust with powdered sugar. You can also make a simple icing (powdered sugar with water) and drizzle that over your rosettes instead.
Recipe tips and FAQs
The batter for nan panjareh is not very complicated to mix up. You can easily whip it with a hand mixer or whisk. If you have a deep fryer, that works wonderfully for frying up the rosettes because it keeps your oil at the temperature you set.
If you do not have a deep fryer, do not fret. I fry up my rosettes using a small pot filled with oil and it works out great. Just pay attention the oil as it sometimes gets a little too hot. If the oil gets too hot, your rosettes burn quickly.
The one piece of equipment that is essential for making nan panjareh is the rosette iron. Your iron can have make one or two rosettes at a time, depending on how many arms you have. I have an iron with two arms, which means I can get through the frying process faster!
Your rosette iron set usually comes with an assortment of attachments. I like using the above pictured pieces, a star and a flower. They are super festive for this time of year, looking like snowflakes dusted with snow.
Rosettes are a traditional pastry found in many countries. A hot iron form is dipped into batter then deep fried. Once done, it is usually dusted with powdered sugar.
Because this is a deep fried treat, rosettes are best enjoyed the day they are prepared. Their crispiness will last for 2-3 days, depending on the humidity in the air. Store them in a loosely covered container at room temperature.
If your rosette loses its crispiness after a day or two, you can reheat them in the oven or toaster oven. Toast them lightly on a piece of foil or baking sheet as they will drip oil it absorbed during the deep frying process.
In order to form the intricate shape of the rosette, preheat your rosette iron in hot oil for about 20 seconds then dip into the batter. The heat of the iron will keep the batter on the form. Then place your rosette iron into the hot oil to deep fry. If your batter went over the top of the rosette form, your cookie will not shake off. Use the tip of a sharp knife to cut off any crispy batter on the top of the iron and help pry the cookie off the rosette iron.
- ⅔ cup cornstarch
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 4 large eggs
- 1 TBS rosewater
- 3 cup extra virgin olive oil *
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 TBS finely chopped pistachios (optional)
- 1 teaspoon crushed dried rose petals (optional)
- Using an electric mixer, combine cornstarch, flour and milk until a thick paste is formed.
- In a second bowl, whisk together eggs and rosewater.
- Stir egg mixture into the flour mixture until combined thoroughly.
- In a heavy stainless-steel pot with high sides or deep fryer, heat oil to 380ºF/193ºC:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Quickly submerge batter-covered rosette iron into the hot oil. Bubbles will form and surround your rosette.
- 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.
- Using a slotted spoon, chopsticks or small strainer remove rosette from hot oil and place rosettes open face down on a tray lined with paper towels to remove excess oil.
- Reheat rosette iron in hot oil and continue frying the rosettes in the same manner until batter is finished up.
- Periodically, remove any fried bits from your oil. Add more oil, as needed.
- If rosettes are browning too quickly and burning, reduce the heat of the oil.
- Once cooled, transfer rosettes to serving platter and dust with powdered sugar and if you like, pistachios and crushed rose petals.
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.
Serving Size:1 rosette
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 88Total Fat: 3.3gSaturated Fat: 0.7gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 18mgCarbohydrates: 12.9gFiber: 0.2gSugar: 5.5gProtein: 1.9g
PS If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback.
You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram. Sign up for my eMail list, too!