Barazek; Traditional Syrian Cookies Recipe

barazek

Preparation

  • Prep: 105 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Total: 150 mins
  • Yield: 40 servings
  • Cooking Method: Baking
  • Recipe Cuisine: Arabic

Ingredients

  • 5tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cupwater
  • 1 1/4 cupswhite sesame seeds
  • 4/5 cup French butter with salt (at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1egg
  • 1tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1teaspoon baking powder
  • 1teaspoon mahleb (ground)
  • 3cups flour
  • 1/3cupfortified milk (at room temperature)

Barazek is a crispy delicious Syrian cookie with sesame seeds on one side and pistachio chunks on the other side. They make great after school snacks for kids. Be careful not to get addicted to the nutty and mildly sweet flavor of barazek cookies.

Barazek dough is very rich in butter. Its texture is very similar to crunchy butter biscuits. If you are lactose tolerant, you can use melted and clarified butter to remove the lactose. The distinctive feature of barazek is that one side is covered with a generous layer of roasted sesame and the other side is coated with pistachios chips. Honey syrup is crucial to keeping nuts on dough.

Another Middle-Eastern ingredient in barazek is mahlab, a spice for cooking and baking in many cuisines. Mahleb smells like orange blossom and tastes like bitter almond and cherry. If you do not have Mahlab, you can use vanilla essence to make these crispy barazek cookies.

Instructions

Step 1

In a small saucepan, mix the honey and water. Put the mixture over medium heat and simmer, stirring until honey dissolves completely. Stir the honey syrup for about 3 minutes. Remove it from heat and set it aside to cool.

Step 2

Bring a large bowl and mix the sifted flour and baking powder in it.

Step 3

Put a skillet over medium heat, roast the sesame seeds for 3-5 minutes. Stir them constantly until golden. Leave it aside to cool down.

Step 4

Take another large bowl and mix the French Butter with Salt, egg, and sugar until it gets creamy. Then, add in the Mahlab, vinegar, and vanilla and mix well. Now, add the flour mixture and combine until smooth. Do not over mix the dough. Add the Fortified Milk slowly until you have a smooth dough. Cover the bowl and leave it aside at room temperature for 45 minutes.

Step 5

Preheat the oven to 160°C (320 F). Line your baking tray with parchment paper. Now, prepare all you need to shape the barazek. Take a large deep plate and mix the honey syrup with roasted sesame. On another plate, place the chopped pistachios.
Separate walnut-size pieces of dough and form a ball. Press one side of the balls in the pistachio plate and flatten them a little. Then, put another side in the honey and sesame mixture. Arrange the cookies on the baking tray two centimeters apart from each other. Remember, their sesame side should be up. Put the tray into the preheated oven.

Step 6

After the barazek cookies are baked for about 15-20 minutes, turn them halfway and wait until the edges are golden. Take the cookies out of the oven. Transfer to an airtight container after they have cooled.

Cooking Notes

You can choose the size of your barazek cookies. It can be made smaller or larger, it all depends on how you want it to look.

If you like crunchier cookies, you should make them thinner. However, if you like having cookies with a more chewy texture inside, you can make them thicker. 

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