Quince Cookies & Trip to Iran

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As most of you know I was recently in Iran, spending quality time with mom and family. I visited Kerman, my birthplace, and surrounding cities.  

One of my absolute favorite places to visit is Bagh-Sahzdeh , an oasis in the desert, a historic garden that was built in 1850 during Qhajar dynasty. Bagh-Shazde is a calm and peaceful place with the sound of natural water coming from the mountains nearby and running through the whole garden with many waterfalls in an inclined landscape. 

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We visited the place on a Friday before kids going back to school, so it was very crowded. Many have brought their food, blankets, games and found a shaded area to enjoy a hot summer day. Many like us were just sightseeing.

There were many locals selling fresh fruits, nuts, and herbal teas. But in between all, there was a kind old man whose genuine smile caught our attention, but the quality of his fruits got us hooked.  He was offering pomegranates, quinces, and quince herbal tea or dam-noosh.  I purchased some quince dam-noosh thinking how lucky I am to experience this day with the people that I love the most, Firouze & her daughter Mahroo @noghlemey , and to walk the same path that many have walked centuries before me....a reminder that this too shall pass. 

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I developed this recipe, using the herbal quince tea to infuse the cookies and to give you a taste of home. I want to share the passion and love that I felt that day. Hope you enjoy the recipe and the quince herbal tea that we offer on the bazaar.

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Happy Holidays from my far and near kitchen to yours. 

Ingredients:

  • 170g (3/4 cup) butter
  • 99g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp crushed quice Dam-noosh
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powdered 
  • 120g (1 cup) flour 
  • 78g (3/4 cup) almond meal /flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Quince jam for filling
  • Powdered sugar for dusting 

Process:

  1. Using your stand mixer, beat the butter &  sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the yolk, cardamom, and crushed quince tea mix and beat until combined.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, almond flour, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until just combined. Don't over-beat.
  3. Divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll one dough out about 1/4"-thick. Using your favorite cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the fridge.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  6. While the first half of cookies is chilling, cut the remaining dough. Once you've transferred these cookies to a baking sheet, use your smallest cookie cutter to make a peekaboo cutout in the center of each. Place cookies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill.
  7. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn brown. Let them cool for 5 minutes on the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  8. Place the cookies with the holes in them on a cookie sheet and sift powdered sugar over the top. Turn the remaining cookies flat side up and spoon 1/2 teaspoon of jam into the center, spreading it slightly. Top with the sugar-dusted cookies & serve. 
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