“ZoZo Baking owner and pastry chef Fariba Nafissi holds a tray of Persian pastries at the bakery's new bricks-and-mortar space, set to open Sept. 23 at the Simi Valley Town Center. Nafissi's specialities include kolompeh filled with spices, walnuts and dates like the ones that grow near her hometown of Kerman, Iran. Decor at the bakery includes a photo of her mother, Ashraf Saliani, now 85 and a continued source of culinary inspiration.”
It was so wonderful to share this Persian rice cookie /Nan-e Berenji recipe & few baking tips with the amazing and talented Louisa Shafia.
“A few days ago, a cardboard box taped up by hand arrived at my door. It held a small white paper box, inside of which, nestled between layers of crinkly pink tissue paper, were the most beautiful cookies I have ever laid eyes on. Palm-sized hearts baked to pale gold perfection, stamped with an intricate swirling pattern and a bright green jewel of crushed pistachios to mark the center. Biting into the cookies revealed a sweet, spiced layer of velvety brown date filling. Whereas I would normally eat a delicious cookie as fast as possible and without much thought, these delicate pastries made me slow down, brew a pot of black tea, and sit down with my husband to enjoy them in all their delicacy.”
“In my head, masters are the people in old Italian paintings, the porcelain skin of their faces framed by frilly collars and antiquated hairstyles. It's harder to recognize a master in our midst. But I've come to believe that pastry chef Fariba Nafissi of ZoZo Baking is the real deal: Fariba is a true master of kolompeh.”
“Just shy of a month ago, I began researching Kolompeh, an Iranian pastry that has the appearance of a mini pie with a tantalizing mixture of minced dates, cardamom powder and spices. Kolompeh are works of art and I was taken by their detail and beauty. My research led me to the Zozo Baking site where I was lost in the admiration of the stunning photographs and spirit of a beautiful baker, Fariba Nafissi. The discovery of Fariba's site marked my gateway to a new addiction - the gorgeous molds used to make Kolompeh and the pastry itself”