Khushkananaj (Persian Dry Bread or Stuffed Cookie)

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(Persian Dry Bread)


Take excellent flour and put three ounces of fresh sesame oil on a pound of it.  Knead it hard with a little water.  Make it right away, with out leavening.  Then make it into long cakes and put finely pounded sugar and almonds in them, as much as they will bear; and let the sugar, like the almonds be spiced.  Sprinkle a little rose-water on them, then bake them in a tannur as bread is baked until done.  Take them up.  If you want fried, knead the dough with sesame oil and fill it and fry it and dip it in syrup and sprinkle it with sugar.

(Rodinson, pp. 425)


Crust – 1.5 C flour        3 Tbs sesame oil           2 Tbs water

Filling – ¼ C almonds   ¼ C sugar

½  tsp each of ground cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, pepper

Sprinkling of rose-water

Syrup – honey or date syrup

My redaction:

My first time through on the recipe I just made the dough.  I did not do any stuffing or dipping into syrup.    I took 1.5 cups of flour and mixed with 3 Tbs of sesame oil, incorporating just enough water to form a sold but pliable dough.  I then made 2 oblong flat loaves to be cooked at 350 in the oven till golden brown.  flat bread made by dough

This dough is tasty though a lot like a pie crust dough just made with sesame oil instead of shorting.  The bread crumbs from this are AWESOME for use in anything.  We’ll refer back to this for bread crumbs at another time.

For the actual dough into stuffed cookies, I  rolled the dough on a floured surface to about ¼ inch thick (like pie dough) and cut into strips.

dough stripsThe dough strip to the left has incorporated a bit of cinnamon, which is nothing to worry about in the fundamental taste.  So if a little spicing gets incorporated into the dough…don’t worry, it’ll still be a very very tasty cookie.

The strips I rolled a little thinner and trimmed off any excess along the edges to give a more uniform and rectangular appearance.

rolled out dough

In the center of each I sprinkled the sugar, almonds and spices (mixed together in a bowl first) till there was no more room.

stuffed dough

I then folded over the edges and pressed to form a seal.

folded stuffed dough

The recipe leaves out a step and that is to seal the edges with water or egg.  The first time I did neither and there are gaps in the cooked cookies to prove it.  So with a little water on the finger tip, go along the inside of the dough before sealing, flip the edge over and press down.  The cookie is then sealed and there should be no leakage or unsightly gap showing the slip…err filling of the cookie.

Each rectangle was sprinkled with a little rose-water.  Just enough for flavor not enough to overwhelm.  The rectangles were then cooked at 350 for roughly 10 minutes or until just golden brown.  These are very dry; however with the addition of honey (or date syrup) the filled cookies become very very tasty treats.

cooked rolls and cookies

I had enough dough to make a few cookies.  They are VERY dry until you add some thing over them like honey or date syrup.  You can even make a honey rose-water syrup for dipping.  If you like dry cookies these are your new best friend, if you like things dipped into a syrup these will definitly be your new favorite.  Either way dry or with a sweet syrup you can’t go wrong serving these at your next period Middle Eastern Banquet.