M’tabbak – Sweet Cheese Pastries

If you have been to Jerusalem’s old city, you may be familiar with m’tabbak, puffed pastries stuffed with sweet cheese and drenched in syrup. The traditional dough used for this recipe is often thinly rolled, filled with an unsalted goat’s cheese, folded into an envelope, brushed with butter, and baked in a hot oven. My…

Freeform Tomato Pie / Galette

As expressed by Food and Wine, when they featured my tomato pie on Instagram recently, “it really wouldn’t be summer without plenty of fresh tomatoes.” And what better way to make your tomatoes shine than with a beautiful tomato pastry that is just as delicious as it is photogenic? This recipe will be sure to…

Pistachio, Sesame, and Black Seed Cookies

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…

Rose and Clementine Cake

Desert rose. A luscious and moist clementine cake with a rose water and vanilla bean cream cheese frosting. This sponge is charming, enticing, and fragrant. A splendid way to brighten up a pale and gloomy day. Top with silvered pistachios and pomegranate seeds for a romantic finishing touch. INGREDIENTS For the Cake 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted 1/2 teaspoon…

Spelt Flatbreads with Zaa’tar

When I was a child, my grandfather would often tell me that zaa’tar made people smart. “Eat, eat, you are getting smarter,” he would say. I would giggle away thinking that he was just saying that to get me to eat the tangy greenish powder. These days I need no excuse to devour the delicious spice blend…

Coconut Flour, Pistachio and Orange Cake

This is an amazingly moist and aromatic pistachio and orange cake topped with a rich and flavorful cashew frosting. It also happens to be free of gluten, dairy, and refined sugar and fats. The addition of coconut flour makes this dessert choice an excellent source of fiber and protein. It also provides for the lovely…

Zaa’tar Flatbreads / Manakish

Manakish. A slightly crispy, chewy, and soft olive-oil infused flatbread topped with the romantic flavors of the Levant. There are various ways to make this delectable baked good, but my favorite involves zaa’tar. And lots of it. If you have never enjoyed this dreamy blend, now is the time. “Zaa’tar,” which translates to thyme, is used…

Kunafa Nabulsi

Kunafa. I could talk about this luscious dessert for days. If you haven’t had it yet, it’s a wet, gooey, hot, and rich pastry made with shredded fillo dough and baked with a stretchy sweet cheese stuffing, and as with most Levantine desserts, it’s topped with a generous drizzle of orange blossom syrup. Palestinians defend…

Date and Banana Breakfast Muffins

What do you do with a bunch of over ripened bananas? There are actually various options. Any sweet or bread that you choose to make with bananas is much better off with the flavor, sweetness, and intensity that very ripe bananas provide. I used mine to make a heartwarming batch of date, banana, and wheat…

Cream Cheese, Lemon, and Poppy Cake

It’s sweet, dreamy, and delicate. And there is something about the preparation that makes it quite therapeutic to work with. Lovely scents of fresh vanilla, soft lemon, and a hint of coconut make this cake a true pleasure to make. The flavors are exquisite with smooth and melt in your mouth cream cheese, chewy and nutty poppy seeds…