Barazek Cookies

Its that time of the year when baking is in full force in almost all the houses. Every year, I try to find some interesting cookie recipes and post them during the holiday season. Who doesn’t love the cinnamon scented house when you bake fresh gingerbread cookies. Tucked in bed with a chocolate chip cookie in one hand and a cup of hot chocolate in another is just what you in need during this festive season. Well but all the cookies above are classic holiday cookies. I am posting something different here today. It is not a take on your regular classic. It is infact a classic on its own.

My current obsession with all desserts Asian is bringing you Barazek. These are famous Middle Eastern cookies originated from either Syria or Turkey but now are sold in almost all Middle Eastern countries. They concept of sesame seeds on top and pistachios on the bottom may seem a little different at first. Trust me it works like magic. It blends in to this light nutty treat which keeps giving you a feeling of tasting something sweet and savoury at the same time. I have made miniature versions of this but you can change as you deem fit. The original recipe calls for ghee or clarified butter. In India, ghee is readily available. You can substitute ghee for butter but you may notice some textural and taste differences.

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Barazek 

Yield: 35 pieces 

Ingredients:

Cookies:

  • 85 grams ghee or butter
  • 60 grams granulated sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 40 grams milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 160 grams all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 50 grams black sesame seeds
  • 50 grams white sesame seeds
  • 40 grams chopped pistachio

Honey Syrup:

  • 2 tablespoon flavoured organic Honey (I used Jamun Honey)
  • 2 tablespoon water

Method:

  • In a small bowl mix honey and water. Microwave for 20 seconds or till the honey has completely dissolved in the water.
  • In a flat non stick pan, toast the white and black sesame seeds together on medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes. Until they start crackling or popping up and down in the pan. Remove it in a bowl and set aside to cool.
  • Warm the milk in microwave for 10 – 20 seconds. Add the yeast with a little pinch of sugar and mix to dissolve. Make the sure the milk is warm not hot before adding the yeast.
  • In a large bowl, cream ghee/butter and sugar with a whisk. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Mix in rose water and vanilla.
  • Alternate adding the flour and milk. Switch to a spatula and mix until combined to a soft dough. Cover and rest the dough for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 160 C. Take two sheet pans and line them with silicone mats or parchment paper.
  • With a rolling pin, roll out the dough in 1/3 cm thickness. Taking a 1 inch round cookie cutter, cut pieces. Lightly wet the back of a spoon with honey syrup and spread it on the lower side of the cookie. Drop the wet side facing cookie in the chopped pistachios bowl. Press lightly so the pistachios stick to the cookie.
  • Repeat the same process on the top side of the cookie coating with sesame seeds.
  • Place one inch apart in the pan and bake for 15 minutes or until light brown.
  • Store in an airtight container for 2 weeks.

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