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Barazek (Sesame Pistachio Cookies)

Barazek is a delicious Syrian cooky and it is a typically Syrian culinary specialty, and it very famous in Damascus. These cookies are also very popular in Homs and Aleppo, with sesame seeds and crushed pistachios, flavored with spices, vanilla and honey. With its light and crisp texture, this little sweet delicacy goes perfectly with a hot drink and will surely become your favorite treat.

Barazek is originally a Syrian pastry, but the recipe has spread widely throughout the Middle East, including Lebanon and Jordan. It is now common to find the famous sesame biscuits in many Mediterranean countries, exploring local shops and tea shops.

Traditionally, it is in Syrian bakeries that you can find the best barazek. They are sold in a pre-packaged form in metal boxes, to maximize shelf life. These biscuits are known as a part of local culture and traditions.

These crunchy biscuits are made of fine sweet dough, very rich in butter and without egg. The texture is sandy and melting. Some barazek recipes use clarified butter or ghee.

Each cookie is generously covered with a layer of roasted sesame seeds on one side and crushed pistachios on the other. Honey syrup delicately coats the sesame seeds and brings back an extra sweet flavor.

Ingredients

 1 cup sifted sugar

 1 cup clarified butter

 3 cup flour, sifted

  100 ml warm water

  ½ tsp active dried yeast

 200 g crushed pistachios

  2 cup toasted sesame seeds

For the syrup

   250 ml water

   200g white sugar

   3 tbsp honey

Preparation

1- In a saucepot, add the water, sugar and honey and bring it to a simmer. Stir a few times, remove from the heat and let it cool.

Preheat the oven to 170C.

2- Mix the sugar and butter together using an electric mixer.

3- Mix the warm water with the yeast and let it sit for a minute.

4- Add the flour to the butter and sugar mix, then the water and yeast mix, and combine until you obtain smooth dough, which will be quite sticky.

5- In a bowl, mix the sesame seeds with half the cooled syrup then place the seeds on a plate. Add more syrup if desired.

6- Prepare another plate with the crushed pistachios.

7- Using your fingers, dip the sticky dough in the pistachio plate first, then flip the cookie and dip it in the sesame seeds. The dough will be a little tricky but manageable. The stickier it is the better the consistency of the cookie later, but you may add a little more flour if needed.

8- Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with butter paper, and bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, making sure they are golden brown. Let them cool on a tray and store in a dry place.

 

Hamsa Zugheb

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