Recipe of Toot (Persian almond candy)

by Josh
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Toot: The most popular berry in Iran is the mulberry – both white (Morus alba) and black (Morus rubra). Shirini-é-Toot, or simply toot, is a simple, delicate, fragrant almond-based confection that pays homage to the beloved fruit by being shaped like a white mulberry (in fact, its name means mulberry [Persian: توت ]). Although most Persians refer to it as toot, it is sometimes also called Shirini-é-Toot, meaning mulberry candy, or Toot-Bdāmi, meaning almond-mulberry.

Can be made throughout the year, these adorable sweets are prominently produced for the Persian New Year (Nowruz) celebrations, Persian wedding ceremonies, and some Islamic festive occasions such as Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Many Iranians like to eat it with Persian hot tea instead of sweetening the tea with sugar cubes.

Why you’ll love it

  • Made by mixing finely ground almonds, caster sugar, rose water, and ground cardamom into a sticky batter that has the natural light, light cream color of Persian white mulberry, the toot is quick and easy to make.
  • In addition to being vegan and gluten-free, they are one of the few Persian sweets that require no baking or cooking.

Key ingredients in Toot

  • Almonds: This confection uses whole, blanched almonds—almonds that have had their thin, papery brown skin removed. If you don’t have access to whole blanched almonds, you can substitute sliced ​​blanched almonds, which are readily available in the bakery section of supermarkets. Do not use commercial almond flour, as it is too finely ground for this candy. You may also come across bags of “almond flour” in your supermarket. This is fine to use if made from blanched (skinless) almonds; many commercial bags of “almond flour” are made from skinned almonds.
  • Rose water: Together with cardamom, rose water gives this confection its bright fragrance. Nowadays, rose water is readily available in well-stocked supermarkets, often in their international aisle. The rose water is critical to this sweetness, so don’t skip it.
  • Cardamom: Also readily available in well-stocked supermarkets in the spice section. The cardamom can be skipped, but try very hard not to.

Although the plain almond version is the most traditional, some Persian home cooks may also prepare colorful versions of toot by adding other ingredients to the dough. The two most popular variations are orange and green toots made by adding soaked saffron and ground pistachios. (I do not recommend using commercial food coloring.)


How to make a Toot

  1. Grind the almonds. In a food processor, grind the almonds (whole or sliced) to a size similar to the feel of beach sand or the cornmeal used to make polenta (but no larger than the size of Demerara sugar grains).
  2. Work out the dough. Whisk together the almonds, powdered sugar, ground cardamom, and kosher salt, then pass the mixture through a sieve to break up any clumps and catch any large almond chunks. Mix in the rose water and make a sticky dough.
  3. Shape the tooth. Form marble-sized portions of the dough into a conical shape resembling white mulberry. Coat the tooth in granulated sugar and insert a bright green pistachio slice into its wide end to imitate the delicate short stem of a mulberry.

Useful swaps

  • Shelled almonds can be used instead of shelled pistachios.
  • To have a saffron-colored tooth, mix 1/4 teaspoon of finely ground saffron with 2 tablespoons of hot water and reduce the amount of rose water to 2 tablespoons.
  • For pistachio teeth, you can use a combination of whole blanched (or shelled almonds) and raw unsalted pistachios.

Storage Tips

The tooth can be left at room temperature for up to 1 day and then stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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