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El Barazek | Syrian Sesame Cookies {EID AL FITR RECIPE}




بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته


One of my favorite cookies in the world is the Barazek. It's a rich buttery cookie from Syria that's popular around the Levant countries of the Middle East. Barazek is an interesting little cookie. A buttery rich shortbread like cookie is enrobed with toasted sesame seeds on one side, while on the other side is dotted crushed pistachios. These cookies are simple, soft yet little crunchy bit crunchy. They're addictive and fine treat to nibble with friends while sipping tea or coffee.

Traditionally, Barazek are made with semolina, white sugar then brushed with atta (simple syrup) before coating in the nuts and seeds then baking. But with a few simple changes, I've replaced all the not-so-good-for you ingredients with all national real food ingredients that I think make this cookie even more interesting. After a month of  fasting, an indulgence here and there won't hurt I think. My recipe is relatively healthy ... so why not indulge! I have trying my best lately to replace all processed items in my pantry with all natural ingredients.

Here, I replaced most of the not-so-good-for you ingredients with all natural and readyily availible ingredients like honey and cultured butter.

EDIT: I was orginally giving these cookies a light brushing of honey before serving, but one nice fine day when I didn't have honey at home I decided to try out rose petal jam. I thought at first might overpower the sesame-ness of the cookie. But since that's what I had on hand, I tried it anyway - and WOW, they really turned out amazing! And have been brushing it on these cookies every since.

If you like a thin crispy cookie (like mine) roll out your dough thin, but if you prefer a thicker chewy cookie simply roll them out thicker.


Syrian Sesame Cookies

active prep time: 15  mins | inactive prep time: 1hr - overnight bake time: 12 -15 mins 
makes about 2 dozen thin cookies

FOR THE DOUGH:
  • 150g - 1 cup Whole Wheat pastry flour
  • 150g - 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 3 tablespoon honey
  • 1 egg
  • ½  of baking powder 
  • 1 package of vanilla sugar or 2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 2 TBS ma'ward (rose water)
  • 4 TBS melted butter or olive oil 
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup of pistachios , chopped coarsely
FOR THE DECORATION:
  • ¼ cup rose petal jam OR honey
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup of pistachios , chopped coarsely






SIFT the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and vanilla powder together into a large bowl.

CHOP the pisatchio nuts roughly and set aside.

CREAM the butter and egg together. Slowly drizzle in the oil and honey until you have creamy frothy cream.

NOW slowly stir in  the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Don't over mix the dough, or you'll end up with a really hard and brittle cookie. Now slowly fold in the pistachios.

FORM a ball from the dough then cover. Allow to rest in the fridge for about half hour. Or even overnight if you like.

PREHEAT your oven to 350°F - 180°C. Then take 2 bowls place the pistachios in one bowl and the sesame seeds in the other. 

AFTER the dough has rested,  form balls from the dough, that are about the size of walnuts - about 25grams.

ROLL each ball in the sesame seeds on one side. Then on the opposite side roll in the remaining chopped pistachio nuts. Now flatened each cookie.

ARRANGE the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or alternatvely lightly greased baking sheet. Make sure the cookies have enough room as they do rise abit. Reduce the oven to 160°C - 320°F then bake the cookies for about 12-15 minutes, or until golden on top. 

REMOVE from the oven and while still hot, carefully not to burn your hands brush each cookie with the honey or rose petal jame.

These cookies keep well in air tight container for about week. And longer if you wrap them properly and freeze.

Serve with strong Turkish style coffee at your next gathering!


Storage
These cookies can be made a week in advance and stay fresh if stored in a cookie tin.
Optionally, you can freezer the cookies for up to one month.

Make Ahead
You can easily prepare the dough ahead and store in the fridge or freezer until ready to bake. Just leave out to thaw on the counter for a few hours.

Subsitute
You can replace the rose petal jam with a simple syrup, honey or any flavored jame like or fig more a more interesting depth of flavor.
You can also use all olive oil or all melted butter or even a combination of bothi in the dough

Variation
You could easily use almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts instead of the pistachios. Or simply them altogether if you prefer. 

Middle Eastern, Eid al Fitr, Bars and Cookies

 WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE EID COOKIE? 


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