Cumin Cookies

Kerman providence in Iran is well known for generous and hospitable people, the best quality pistachios, the most beautiful Persian rugs, and the most fragrant cumin. There are two types of cumin grown in Kerman, the green cumin that has thick seeds and less aromatic and there is the mountain-cumin that has thinner and smaller seeds but with a tense nutty and peppery flavor.

Cumin has a deep root in Kermanian cuisine, from cumin-chicken rice, to cumin-cheese and cumin-Kashk, to Avideh, we use cumin seeds to add fragrance and flavor to food. Mom makes the most aromatic cumin-chicken rice topped with locally made ghee and saffron.

I thought we love cumin seeds so much, why we don't use cumin in pastries or cookies? So I went to work to create a recipe that would be buttery, with a kick of earthy cumin flavor, and crispy like Tah-dig / the crispy rice at the bottom of the pot. It took me a few tries to balance the spiciness of the dough with sweetness, but I finally succeed.

These cumin cookies have a warm, earthy, and buttery flavor and are incredible with a freshly brewed cup of tea.

Toasting cumin seeds prior to baking enhances the flavor of cookies

Key points:

This cookie dough is very rich and buttery, so It's important that you don't handle the dough with your hands too much. The heat of your hands melts the butter, therefore the dough become very soft and difficult to work with.

Place the dough in the freezer for one hour prior to baking.

To toast cumin seeds:

  1. Spread seeds in a single layer in an ungreased skillet or frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Cook 4 to 8 minutes or just until they are very lightly browned and fragrant, shaking the pan, or stirring frequently to keep the seeds from burning. Watch closely so they do nut burn.
  3. Immediately remove from the heat and remove from the hot skillet so they do not continue to cook. Spread on paper towels to cool.


Cumin Cookies

Yield: 30-40 cookies               Bake time: 8-10 minutes 


  • 240g Butter; softened
  • 120g Powdered sugar
  • 300g Flour
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin seeds; toasted
  • A pinch of Salt


  1. Use a electric mixer to cream together the powdered sugar and softened butter until it's creamy and light, don't corporate too much air. Add flour, salt, and toasted cumin seeds to incorporate. 
  2. The dough is buttery and sticky. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts. Place the dough between two parchment paper or silicon mats and use a rolling pin to flatten the dough to 3/4" thick and smooth the top. Repeat the process for other parts too.
  3. Keep the dough in between the paper and place in the freezer for about 1 hour or until the dough is harden. You can bake one part and keep the other dough in the freezer for later use. Just make sure that you keep them in a ziplock bag.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  5. Use a round cookie cutter to cut the cookies, place on the tray. Remember the cookies have to be baked once they're still frozen. If the temperature of your kitchen is hot and the cookies are soft, place the baking try in the refrigerator or freezer again to cool them down.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a baking rack.

Hope you enjoy this recipe. As always, I love to hear your feedback and comments. And I'm sure you have friends that could enjoy this recipe too, please share it with them. Lets spread the love and needs it :)

Until next week, know that I love you and YOU are awesome!