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VIVA! World Tour, Destination Afghanistan!


Afghanistan is a landlocked and mountainous country located in the heart of South Central Asia with a history of over 5,000 years. While virtually exploring its tumultuous past and present, Pathway residents craved getting to know a sweeter side of its history and culture.

Armed with mixing bowls and spatulas, Pathway travelers trekked to their community kitchens where they recreated traditional recipes for Afghan cookie and custard.

Kolche Ab-e-Dandaan Cookie

The Kolche Ab-e-Dandaan (melt-in-the-mouth) cookie was traditionally baked for New Year and served to guests. Stoney River Marshfield residents made the cookies to celebrate spring’s arrival!

True to their name, these round, crumbly cookies melt in your mouth when you take a bite. This classic Afghanistan cookie calls for basic ingredients and is simple to make. Enjoy the recipe!

• 1 //2 cups Crisco (solid shortening)
• 2 cups powdered sugar
• 1 cup cornstarch
• 4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp ground cardamom
• ground pistachios (garnish)
Heat Crisco to warm, not hot. In a mixer, add the warmed Crisco, powdered sugar and cornstarch. Mix well. In a separate bowl, add all-purpose flour, baking powder and cardamom. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and combine with hands for a few minutes.
Form into a ball, about the size of your palm, and flatten out to about a ½” thickness. Put a thumb print in middle. At this stage, you must work quickly, because as the Crisco hardens, it will be harder to form into a cookie.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350F for 30 minutes using a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. The cookie should a pale white color, not brown.
Cool cookies. Once cooled, sprinkle middle with ground pistachios. Cookies are supposed to have a cracked look to them.
Firni Afghan Custard

Traditionally served cold and for special occasions, Firni custard is a dish created by the Afghan people and re-created by residents at Heartis Village of Peoria.

• 2 cups cold whole milk
• 1⁄3 cup cornstarch
• 3⁄4 cup sugar
• 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom pod, sifted
• 1⁄4 cup slivered almonds
• ground pistachios, for garnish
Pour about 1/2 cup of the milk into a small bowl, and the rest into a medium saucepan. Whisk the cornstarch with the milk in the bowl until smooth, and then add it to the milk in the saucepan. Whisk in the sugar and cardamom.
Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly to avoid lumps and it sticking to the bottom, until it’s gently bubbling and thick like cream of wheat, for 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the almonds. Continue to whisk for 2 more minutes.
Take off the heat and pour into a totally dry 9” diameter and 3 ½” deep serving bowl (it fills halfway). Let cool for about 30 minutes at room temperature. Then put in the refrigerator and chill until soft but firm, about 1 1/2 hours.
Sprinkle with ground pistachios and serve.

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