These cookies/biscuits have become my favorite treat to dip in my tea. Filled with the romantic flavors of the Levant, you will find it difficult to stop yourself after taking the first bite. My recipe is a cross of Levantine pistachio and sesame cookies (barazek) and Australian Anzac biscuits. And while this is not a traditional recipe for barazek, its flavors are quite similar. Furthermore, I’ve added my own set of twists to make this cookie unforgettable. The additions of black seed, pistachios, coconut, honey, and cinnamon make for a nostalgic trip home. And while black cumin seeds aka nigella seeds are optional, they certainly do add character. It is also worth saying that the aroma they release while baking is irresistible.
I didn’t have enough pistachios at the time of making these, so I added hazelnuts, which turned out delicious. Feel free to use solely pistachios/hazelnuts or a combination to your taste. The traditional barazek biscuits are made either semi-crispy or completely crispy. I prefer the former; semi-crispy so that the cookies are crunchy from the outside and chewy from the inside. To make them crispier, simply add a few minutes of baking time.
These cookies will be a staple in my home from now on. They are oh so yum. I hope you love them just as much! X
INGREDIENTS/ MAKES 28-30 COOKIES
1 cup/ 155 gr. all-purpose flour
1 cup/ 90 gr. dried desiccated coconut
1/4 cup/ 40 gr. pistachios, chopped or silvered
1/4 cup/ 40 gr. hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 cup/ 100 gr. granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
100 gr./ 1/2 cup coconut oil (or substitute with butter)
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup/ 8 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
3 tablespoons black cumin seeds/nigella seeds, optional
1. Preheat oven to 160 C/ 325 F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. (Bake in batches if your oven cannot fit both baking pans in one rack.)
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, coconut, chopped nuts, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Stir together and set aside. In a small pot, melt the coconut oil and honey together over low heat. Mix together baking soda and 3 tablespoons of boiling water in a small cup, and stir into the oil mixture. As it begins to bubble, take it off the stove, create a well in the flour mixture, and pour the wet mixture in the middle. Stir together until the dough is well combined and comes together.
3. Roll a piece of dough the size of 1 heaping tablespoon into a ball, flatten slighty and press against the sesame seeds. Then, press the cookie onto the baking sheet, sprinkle black seeds over the top, and flatten so that it is about 1/4 inch. thick. *Feel free to make it slightly thinner or thicker to your liking. Repeat these steps with the rest of the dough.
4. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are golden. For a crispier cookie, add another 3-4 minutes of baking time. Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a baking rack. Enjoy!