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Shortbread Cookies BW

My, oh my, how time flies! Between shoveling snow, dressing in numerous layers, and trying to combat unusually low temperatures this winter, springtime has almost creeped up on me unnoticed. If there were not for the festival of Purim, who knows how long it would have taken me to realize that days were getting longer and tulips in the backyard were starting to poke their green leaves through the ground.

Of course, Purim celebration calls for sweet treats, and since I have not yet been able to come up with a good gluten-free hamantaschen recipe, I had to settle for some other cookies that could be enjoyed by gluten loving and gluten free folks alike. Enter The Jewish Holiday Cookbook by Gloria Kaufer Greene.

This delicious gluten-free shortbread cookie recipe is a version of Iranian treat called Nan-E-Berenji. Easy to make and absolutely delicious, it would be a hit at your next gluten-free tea party and a gluten-free Purim celebration alike.


  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (1 stick + 2 Tbsp)
  • 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 1/3 cups white rice flour
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped pistachios
  • rose water (optional)

(makes approximately 1 1/2 dozen cookies)


In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat butter until it is light and fluffy. Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until it is incorporated. Beat in the egg yolk and cardamom; then, stir in just enough rice flour to make a stiff, non-sticky dough. Gather the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap. Let it rest at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Roll dough into 1 inch diameter balls, and place them about 1 inch apart on a large, ungreased cookie sheet. Moisten the tip of your index finger with rose water (or plain water), then dip it into pistachios. Lightly press a few pistachio pieces into the top of each ball, flattening the balls slightly. Bake in a pre-heated 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Let the cookies cool on a baking sheet for approximately 5 minutes, then use spatula to carefully transfer them to a wire rack until completely cool. Store in an air tight container.

Shortbread Cookies