Feather cookies or as we call them Nane-Par is from Kerman, Iran. These cookies are light, tender and crumbly, & perfumed with cardamom. I adore these simple cookies not only because they taste heavenly with my tea, I adore the story behind them. My mom says in the old days, when there was hardly any fancy cookie cutters or decorations for making cookies, Kermanian women used their creativity and work with tools on hand. They decorate these cookies with a tip of a feather, hence the name. These days it's hardly baked or known by many, but still one of the most beautiful and flavorful cookies.
The original recipe calls for vegetable shortening. If you want to substitute the vegetable oil with butter you can, just be aware that the cookies with vegetable shortening come out softer and more tender. The cookies made with butter are more delicious, but they’re harder and have a more biscuits feel to them.
You can use all purpose flour, but if you have pastry flour available I would definitely recommend using that. The cookies made with pastry flour is more tender than cookies with all purpose flour.
In my bakery, I often use pastry flour vs. all purpose flour. The main difference is in the % of protein that each flour holds. The pastry flour holds less protein ( 7-8% protein), therefore the softer and more tender the cookies or pastries. However if I want to bake bread or Komach, I use all purpose flour (11%+ protein).
Yields: 45-50 cookies Bake time: 10 minutes
150g (1 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
200g (1 cup & 1 tablespoon) vegetable shortening
2 egg yolks
375g (2 cups) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cardamom powder
3-4 tablespoons brewed saffron (for decoration)
50g / 1/3 cup ground pistachios (for decoration)
Preheat the oven to 325°F , cover two baking trays with parchment paper.
Using a food processor mix in the powdered sugar and shortening, until smooth and creamy. Add the egg yolks and mix. Add flour and pulse until you have a soft dough.
Slightly dust your work surface with flour, roll out the dough to 1/8" thick and use a cookie cutter to shape your dough. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the baking tray, use a fork or a feather to gently pierce the top of the cookies, and decorate with brewed saffron and ground pistachios.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown. Once cooled, keep in an airtight container in a cool place for up to two weeks.
Hope you enjoy baking these cookies. Please don’t forget to share the recipe with people who enjoy baking.
Also remember to send me pictures of your bakings. As much as I love to answer your questions on any social media platforms, but please post your questions regarding the recipe here on the site.