There are few sweets incorporating cocoa and chocolate, as both are recent arrivals to the area as recent as 400 years! Obviously taste patterns change ultra-slowly in the Middle East. This recipe from Iran is popular in the region of Shiraz. Delicious biscuits flavoured with cocoa and lemon.
- Yield: 26
- 6 oz (175 g) clarified butter
- 6 oz (175 g) caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 8 oz (225 g) plain flour
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped pistachio nuts
- Place the butter in a large bowl and beat until creamy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until well blended. Stir in the egg yolk and lemon rind. Sift in the flour and cocoa and knead until the mixture holds together in a ball. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Lightly flour a work top and divide the dough into 2 portions. Roll 1 portion out until ½cm (¼in) thick. Cut out as many 5 cm (2 in) circles as possible using a decorative pastry cutter. Place on lightly greased baking trays. Repeat with the remaining dough. Brush the top of each with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with nuts. Bake in an oven preheated to 180C (350F) gas 4 for about 15 minutes. Cool on wire racks and store when cold.