Chickpea cookies with pistachios

by Sarah on July 5, 2012

chickpea cookies, persian

Every once in a while I rummage through my cupboard and realize I’d inadvertently collected enough grains, beans and spices to open my own dry goods store.

chickpea flour cookies

I have a half opened bag of millet which I tried steaming like couscous. I was told not to repeat that experiment. In back of the olive oil I found a small sack of Ethiopian desi chickpeas which I used to make kala chana but they never softened. Bulked in a basket are a handful of red lentils, ¾ cup of red kidney beans, 4/6 cup of polenta, an airtight container with a few tablespoons of semolina and enough bulgur to make 2 1/2 kibbeh. Stuffed between the Nutella and date syrup I found a quarter bag of buckwheat groats from a Polish themed meal I never repeated, a bit of ground rice and two varieties of chickpea flour, one roasted the other not. Aside from that I have forgotten food items which will eventually petrify in the recesses of my cabinet-black cardamom, dried rue fruit, flax seeds, charcoal salt (sprinkled on food it looks exactly like an attack of ants) goji berries, basil seeds, cocoa nibs…

Persian chickpea cookies,

These odds and ends are a result of my stringent fixation on preserving ethnic recipes. I’d turned into a traditionalist without an ounce of practicality. Do you think my grandmother made her kubba in the exactly the same way every time? Of course not. She’d throw in whatever she had around. Some days she’d use rice for the shell instead of semolina or the previous night’s cooked chicken for the filling.  Meanwhile I was using the same recipe as if it was written in stone. My fastidiousness was wasteful and unnecessary.

Since I’ve started working I can’t chase after ingredients. I don’t have the time or the patience anymore. Instead I try to finish what I’ve already opened even if that means changing things around a bit. That is exactly what I’ve done in the following Persian chickpea cookie recipe.

Persian chickpea cookies

Chickpea Cookies

This recipe was adopted from the blog Nooschi.  When I told my Iranian friend that I made chickpea cookies she asked if they were clover shape, the traditional way of serving them in Persia. I made these with what was left from other chickpea flour recipes I attempted including, gondi, meatballs and crepes. The verdict? My family like chickpea flour in savory dishes but are not accustomed to it yet in desserts.

3 1/2 cups of roasted chickpea flour (I used roasted and unroasted chickpea flour 1:1)
1 cup butter, cut into cubes
1 cup of powdered sugar
2 teaspoons of ground cardamom
1 tablespoon of rose water
ground pistachios

Preheat the oven to 170°C (340° F). In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment combine the chickpea flour, powdered sugar and ground cardamom. Mix on low until evenly distributed.

Slowly add in the butter, mixing until combined. Add the rosewater, and continue to mix until the dough comes together. It should be soft like Playdough but not sticky.

Spread and pack the flour mixture on to a baking tray so it’s about 1.5 cm (0.6 inches) thick. Cover with plastic wrap to keep it from drying and refrigerate for 1/2 -1 hour to stiffen the dough. Using cookie cutters of your choice, cut out shapes and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Garnish with ground pistachios. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Do not over bake as the cookies will turn bitter. Let cool and transfer to an airtight container.

Persian food blog I love

 Tumeric and Saffron

Read about Pille’s visit to Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem’s biggest outdoor market.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Natalie July 5, 2012 at 2:35 pm

OMG that looks so good! Would have never thought about using chickpea flour in cookies. Will definitely try :)



Rosa July 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm

So pretty and surely extremely addictive! Divine cookies.




Eha July 5, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Oh Sarah – I live on my own, lest friends are staying over, and my ‘dry goods’ store has a much wilder contents list than yours! But does include every item you have mentioned :) ! Am not a cookie-maker [or eater for that matter], but these are so different: I love using chickpeas in any form and the cardamom/rose water/pistachio combo is irresistible, Methinks here we go! Hope a lovely weekend is in the offing for you :) !


Sarah July 5, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Eha, Your kitchen sounds wonderful to me with so much variety. I have lots of other stuff too- especially rice which I use often but my list was getting long ;-)


Eha July 6, 2012 at 4:36 am

You may have ‘slightly’ misunderstood me :) ! I was honestly and truly poking fun at myself, as I tend to have SO many little leftover bags and parcels of this, that and the third thing! Too frugal to throw food out, oft not organized enough to make sensible combinations!!! Sorry!!!!!!!


Sarah July 6, 2012 at 6:18 am

Understood completely because I am exactly the same way, I’m always buying curious food items and then don’t really know what to do with them.


Sarah July 5, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Thanks Natalie (Oogionet) and Rosa, The chickpea flour has such a strong taste. I want to do more baking with it but think I will use it together with wheat flour to balance the flavors.


Sanjeeta KK July 6, 2012 at 1:21 am

Absolutely gorgeous, love the delicate and crispy textures of the cookie. Coming here following a tweet from Jamie..and loved it :)


Sarah July 6, 2012 at 3:57 am

Thank you Sanjeeta!


Yael the Finn July 6, 2012 at 3:55 am

How cute those cookies are! I have used chickpea flour and other bean flours in vegan baking.The chickpea flour does have a rather strong taste so have mixed it with flour that I ground from fava beans and that way it was not so strong.


Sarah July 6, 2012 at 3:59 am

Yael the Finn, Thanks! Good idea about combining the different flours. I have never used fava been flour before and will search for it next time I’m at a spice store.


Yael July 6, 2012 at 9:05 am

We don’t use much chickpea flour since it gives a distinct taste that requires getting use to. Your cookies look so lovely but I don’t think they will like the taste. We now discovered a new Gluten free commercial flour that cost like gold but is very good for baking. Loved the food styling.


Reem | Simply Reem July 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm

We also make cookies from chickpea flour.. with cardamom and some rose essence…
These are sure addictive..
I am new to ur spae looks really nice!!


usha July 6, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Hi Sarah !
Indians are a chickpea flour loving nation but these cookies are a first, at least to me. And so easy to make.
Your cupboard shelves and the surprises they throw up seem very interesting. Hats off to you and everyone in daring to try to try out new ‘territories !’


Joanne July 6, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Hi Sarah, this sounds great but I was wondering if there’s any reason not to incorporate the nuts instead of using as garnish. I dislike garnishes on baked goods for the messy eating process but think the nuts would add great flavor.


Sarah July 6, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Joanne, Thanks! I am sure it’s possible to incorporate the nuts into the dough. The batter will be more crumbly and be harder to bind together if too much is added, however.


Donna D July 9, 2012 at 4:31 am

I am inspired! I think I will slightly modify this to mill some pistachios to incorporate in the flour mix, and also to use a ratio of half chickpea flour, half rice flour (to keep it gluten free). Thanks so much for the fantastic idea.

Now, what to do if I can’t find rose water??


Tiffany H July 11, 2012 at 7:45 pm

They are so lovely Sarah! I have never seen chickpea flour.. maybe I’ve just never paid attention. Now I am reading your recipe and find it seems easy to make I am definitely trying to find them. Just thinking about the palate of chickpea and pistachios combination makes me want to try that this summer~


Sarah July 11, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Thanks Tiffany, You might find chickpea flour in Persian food shops. That’s the first place I would look. It is pretty strong tasting.


Javelin Warrior July 12, 2012 at 10:06 pm

I love dropping by to drool over your latest creations and today I’m featuring this post in Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and it’s always a pleasure following you…


Sarah July 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Thanks for the feature!


Sarah July 19, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Thanks again Javelin Warrior!


Penniless Parenting July 15, 2012 at 9:49 am

I made similar cookies somewhat recently. My husband said they reminded him of peanut butter cookies. I saw what he was saying…


Sarah July 19, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Penniless Parenting, They have a very strong taste, that’s for sure. It takes getting used to.


Lynne July 26, 2012 at 7:41 am

My first visit to your blog…………………clicking/surfing at random…………..loving every post I’ve found! kol ha k’vod!


Sarah July 27, 2012 at 12:28 am

Thanks Lynne!


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