The Iranian New Year, known as Nowruz, falls on March 21 at the Spring equinox. The holiday is all about fresh starts, the reawakening of nature, and encouraging good things like abundance, fertility, good health, and sweetness in the coming year. At Nowruz it’s customary to serve and gift small sweets, known as shirini, which are typically enjoyed with a glass of hot black tea. With their fragrant hint of rose water and cardamom, these fig pistachio coins with roseawater recipe would be perfect on a New Year platter or serve a plate of these Persian desserts at teatime.
Rose Water Recipe with Subtle Flavor
Using both rose petals and rose water, these ingredients are frequently in Persian desserts and cuisine for their delicate floral flavor and striking appearance. While rose water is available at many Whole Foods markets, culinary grade rose petals are mostly found in Middle Eastern and Indian grocery stores, tea shops, and online; if you can’t find them you can make the pistachio crust with just the nuts and powdered sugar, but the rose and California Figs are the stars in this rose water recipe.
For the pistachios, we used shelled unroasted nuts, but you can also use raw nuts.
You can use tangy, delicately sweet, and slightly nutty Sun-Maid or Orchard Choice Golden Figs here, or for a more familiar, jammy fig flavor, use Mission Figs. Either type of fig brings its own flavor to the desserts.
Pro-Tip for Persian Desserts Prep
Make the coin filling the night before, so it firms up and can be easily sliced into rounds before tossing in the pistachio crust. The coins store well in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, but the white appearance of the powdered sugar will fade, so keep extra powdered sugar on hand for a quick touch-up.
Pistachio Fig Coins with Rose Water Recipe
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons pistachios toasted and salted, plus extra for garnish
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 2 tablespoons dried culinary rose petals plus extra for garnish (optional)
- 3 tablespoons almond butter
- 3 tablespoons almond flour
- 4 medjool dates pitted
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs stem ends snipped
- Make the coating for the coins:In a food processor, combine the powdered sugar, pistachios, and cardamom, and pulse to form a coarse meal. Add the rose petals and pulse a few times, until the petals are broken down slightly but you can still see shreds of pink. Transfer to a sealed jaruntil ready to use.
- Place the almond butter, almond flour, dates, rose water, and salt in the food processor and pulse until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed. Add the California Figs and pulse a few times until they’re just broken down but the mixture still has a firm, springy texture. Transfer to a clean work surface.
- Divide the fig dough into two equal size balls. With lightly oiled hands, roll each ball into a compact log 7” long by 1” in diameter. Chill the logs in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight, before slicing.
- Spread the coating in a rimmed dish. Using a serrated knife, slice the logs into ¼-inch thick coins. Working in batches, toss the coins in the coating until they are completely covered on both sides.
- Arrange the coins on a platter. Coarsely chop a spoonful of the extra pistachios and sprinkle them on top. Take a generous pinch of the extra rose petals and crush them in your palms over the platter. Serve with hot black tea.
- Store the coins in a parchment-lined cookie tin along with any extra coating, so you can quickly touch them up before serving.