Toot (Persian Almond Confection)

published Apr 7, 2024
ramadan
Toot Recipe

These adorable sweets will make your kitchen smell divine.

Serves14 to 16

Makesabout 80

Prep1 hour 15 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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toot on yellow plate split open
Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Brett Regot

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

They can be made all year around, these adorable sweets are prominently made for Persian New Year celebrations (Nowruz), for Persian wedding ceremonies, and for some Islamic celebratory occasions such as Eid al-Fitr marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Many Iranians love to eat them along with their Persian hot tea instead of sweetening the tea with sugar cubes.

Why You’ll Love It

  • Made by mixing finely ground almonds, powdered sugar, rose water, and ground cardamom into a sticky dough that has the natural light pale-cream color of Persian white mulberry, toot is easy and quick to prepare. 
  • In addition to being vegan and gluten-free, they are one of the very few Persian confections that do not need baking or cooking. 

Key Ingredients in Toot

  • Almonds: This confection uses whole blanched almonds — almonds whose thin papery brown skin has been removed. If you don’t have access to whole blanched almonds, you can substitute slivered blanched almonds which are readily available in the bakery section of supermarkets. Do not use commercial almond flour, as this is ground too fine for this confection. You may also come across bags of “almond meal” in your supermarket. This is OK to use as long as it is made from blanched (skinless) almonds; many commercial bags of “almond meal” are made from almonds with skins.
  • Rose water: Along with cardamom, rose water gives this confection its bright fragrance. These days, rose water is readily available in well-stocked supermarkets, often in their international aisle. Rose water is critical for this confection, so don’t skip it. 
  • Cardamom: Also readily available in well-stocked supermarkets in their spice section. 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 colored versions of toot by incorporating other ingredients into the dough. The two most popular variations are orange and green toots made by adding steeped saffron and ground pistachios, respectively. (I do not recommend using commercial food coloring.)

Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Brett Regot

How to Make Toot

  1. Grind the almonds. In a food processor, grind the almonds (whole or slivers) to a size resembling the feel of beach sand or corn meal used for making polenta (but no larger than the size of grains of Demerara sugar).
  2. Make the dough. Whisk together the almonds, powdered sugar, ground cardamom, and kosher salt, then pass the mixture through a strainer to break up any clumps and catch any large almond pieces. Stir in rose water to form a sticky dough. 
  3. Shape the toot. Form marble-size portions of the dough into a conical shape resembling a white mulberry. Coat the toot in granulated sugar, then insert a bright-green pistachio sliver into the wide end, emulating the mulberry’s delicate short stem. 

Helpful Swaps

  • Slivered almonds can be used in place of the slivered pistachios.
  • To make saffron-colored toot, mix 1/4 teaspoon finely ground saffron with 2 tablespoons hot water and reduce the amount of rose water to 2 tablespoons.
  • For pistachio-colored toot, you can use a combination of whole blanched (or slivered almonds) and raw unsalted pistachios. 

Storage Tips

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

More Persian Sweets

Toot Recipe

These adorable sweets will make your kitchen smell divine.

Prep time 1 hour 15 minutes

Makes about 80

Serves 14 to 16

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 cups

    whole blanched or 2 1/2 cups slivered almonds (280 grams)

  • 1 1/2 cups

    powdered sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground cardamom

  • 1 pinch

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup

    rose water

  • 1/2 cup

    cold water

  • 1/2 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons

    slivered pistachios

Instructions

  1. Place 2 cups whole blanched almonds or 2 1/2 cups slivered almonds in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until the texture of sand or coarse cornmeal, 10 to 15 seconds.

  2. Transfer 2 tablespoons to a small bowl and set aside. Transfer the remaining to a medium bowl; add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, and 1 pinch kosher salt. Whisk to combine. Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into another bowl to both break up any clumps and to catch any large pieces of almond.

  3. Stir in 1/4 cup rose water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a soft, pliable, somewhat sticky dough forms (like Play-Doh). If the dough is too wet, mix in some of the reserved almond flour a little at a time.

  4. Cover and let the dough rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place 1/2 cup cold water in a small bowl. Place 1/2 cup granulated sugar on a small plate or in a shallow container.

  5. Scoop out a level teaspoon of the dough. Roll between your palms into a ball. If the dough is sticking too much to your hands, dip 2 fingers in the cold water and use it to moisten the palm of the other hand. Connect the insides of your wrists and splay your palms out to form a V shape, letting the ball drop into the valley at the base of your palms. Shuffle your wrists back and forth in opposite directions to gently form the ball into an inverted teardrop.

  6. Place the toot in the granulated sugar and very gently roll it in the sugar until evenly and lightly coated.

  7. Insert 1 pistachio sliver into the thicker end. Reshape as needed. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer, making sure they are not touching. Let sit uncovered until the outside is dry to the touch and the toot does not lose its shape when picked up, about 1 hour. Transfer to a serving platter; they can be stacked if desired.

Recipe Notes

Substitutions: Alternatively, you can easily blanch whole almonds: Place the almonds in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak for 1 minute but no longer. Drain the almonds and rinse under cold tap water to cool them. The almonds should now have loosened skins, making them easy to peel: Gently squeeze each almond between your thumb and forefinger. You'll feel the nut loosen within the skin. Now, pinch and slide your thumb and finger along the skin to remove it completely.

Slivered almonds can be used in place of the slivered pistachios.

For saffron-colored toot: In Step 3, use 2 tablespoons hot water mixed with 1/4 teaspoon finely ground saffron and reduce the amount of rose water to 2 tablespoons.

For pistachio-colored toot: Substitute a mixture of 140 grams whole blanched or slivered almonds and 140 grams raw unsalted pistachios for the almonds. Grind together in the food processor.

Storage: The toot can be left out at room temperature for up to 1 day. After 1 day, store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.