This week I was proud to help my daugther Sofia prepare for her presentation about the Afghan holiday Eid for her Spanish class. Her teacher had asked each student to choose a holiday important to them and create a presentation in Spanish about it. Sofia, to my surprise went all out by putting together a powerpoint presenation with spinning pictures and a menu of Afghan food she and I were to make for her classmates.
Having spent the last 10 years of my life educating people about Afghanistan, I was happy that some of what I had shared with my children had sunk in. So, if you are raising bi-cultural children don't give up if they ignore your cultural insights. The information is sinking in despite their whining and lack of interest at that moment.
Sofia dug into Afghan Culture Unveilved for recipes and carefully chose dishes that she thought her classmates would enjoy. One day after school I found her in the kitchen with the ingredients for Kulche Birinjee scattered around the. So, a new blog post idea was born and I ruined the moment by brining out my camera and snapping photos.
After recovering from my excitement, I was surprised by her reourcefulness but it also dawned on me that this recipe is so easy that even a 10 year old can make it. So, get out the rice flour, sugar, butter, egg whites and cardamom and make some of these cookies for the upcoming Afghan new year with you little one. Another added bonus, they are gluten free.
In Afghanistan cookies very similar to these are made just for Nowroz, they are called Nowrozee. The recipe is very much the same except that bright food coloring is used to make a plus shape design on top of the cookies for a festive holiday look.
I hope you and your family enjoy these cookies during your Noworz celebration.
Afghan Butter Cookies
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened to room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 egg whites
2 cups white rice flour
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pistachios (you can leave out if you don't like nuts)
1/4 cup shelled whole pistachios
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the egg whites and mix until smooth. Gradually add the rice flour, cardamom and pistachios (if you choose to use them). Mix well.
Scoop up a tablespoon of dough and set on a cookie sheet (ungreased is ok). Flatten the dough with the palm of your hand. The cookie will not rise or spread during cooking. Next, press the back of a fork into the dough, making a criss-cross with the tines of the fork (like you would with a peanut butter cookie). If the fork begins to stick, dip it in a glass of cold water from time to time. Place a pistachio in the center of the cookie.
Continue with the remainder of the dough, setting the cookies 1 ½ inches apart.
Bake for 12-14 mintues. Let it cool before eating.
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