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If you want to impress this holiday season, this unique christmas cookie recipe is the answer you’ve been looking for. Barazek cookies are lovely treats to make during the festive season. These delicate, sesame seed-coated cookies are found throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean, though they originated in Syria. Back home in Jordan, you can walk into any sweet shop to find stacks of these delicious golden treats! They come in two sizes: small or large, the latter of which is perfect for those who want more than just one bite.
Truth be told, I was hesitant to try and make Barazek cookies at first. I thought I could never match the incredible taste and texture of the traditional cookies I know and love at home. However, I eventually overcame this fear when I ventured out and attempted my first ever Middle Eastern cookie recipe, the Ghraybeh cookie—and it came out delicious!
So, I went for it with the Barazek cookies, and after a few test runs, I nailed it. It passed what I call My Husband’s Taste Test since he is the one who is madly in love with the tastes of Middle Eastern sweets! His only suggestion was to add some more crunch on top, to which I responded that he needed to replace our oven with a convection one for better baking. (Fingers crossed on that one!)
Tips for Making The Best Traditional Barazek Cookies
These tips and tricks can mean the difference between an unenjoyable treat and a truly wonderful holiday sweet! Make sure you follow these carefully, as everyone has somewhat different baking tools, machines, and ingredients.
- Baking is a science, so weigh the ingredients. Don’t count on measuring to produce perfect cookies!
- Only use ghee-clarified butter, not regular butter. The ghee must be at room temperature, not melted or cold.
- When you make the dough, mix the flour and ghee in a bowl, then transfer to a flat surface. Work with the palms of your hands to incorporate the ghee into the flour with a bit of pressure. The dough should become silky and soft to the touch!
- When you place raw sesame seeds in the oven to toast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, flip them repetitively, so they don’t burn. Or if you are toasting them in a skillet, don’t walk away or become distracted. It is only too easy to burn or over-toast these tiny seeds!
- I loved the final taste of these cookies when I used date molasses and simple syrup to make the sesame seeds sticky. You could use both or just simple syrup, whatever you have on hand!
- You must be patient when working with your hands; keep mixing until the sesame becomes sticky. Don’t add more syrup or sugar, as it will burn and give the final cookie a bad taste.
- When shaping the cookies, choose whether to make them thick, thin, small, or large. It’s whatever you prefer!
- Check your oven. Mine is not a convection oven, so 12 minutes was a great baking time for soft, chewy cookies. I rotated the baking sheet halfway through the baking time, which helped! If you have a conventional oven, 8 to 10 minutes should be enough.
Why Barazek is the Perfect Christmas Cookies?
These nutty, mildly sweet cookies are good any time of year, but the winter months call for soft, buttery treats that pair well with hot drinks and cold weather. The Barazek christmas cookies are especially yummy around the holidays because its flavor is generally considered delicious.
If you bring a platter of these cookies to your next holiday party, it will be empty in a matter of minutes.
Here’s How You Must Store These Christmas Cookies.
To ensure these Barazek cookies retain their pleasant texture and taste, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 weeks. You can also place them in the fridge for up to 2 months or in the freezer for 8 to 12 months.
The first step in making the dough is to work the ghee into the flour until it becomes silky by kneading the bread. This process will take about 5 to 8 minutes. Then cover it and let it rest for 30 minutes.
With the tips of your fingers, make small holes in the dough. Mix the sugar and water until they dissolve, then pour them into the dough, gently folding until the dough absorbs the sugar and water. Cover and keep in the fridge for no less than 1 hour and no more than 2.
Prepare the sesame seeds by adding one tablespoon of granulated sugar, one tablespoon of date molasses, and simple syrup to the seeds.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Set up your workstation with the sesame seeds on one side, the pistachios on the other, and the dough in the middle.
Working in batches, you can do one of two things: Make a long roll about ¾ inch in diameter. Then cut the dough into small pieces and round them into balls of about 12 to 15 grams each.
Gently press the dough into the pistachios, flip to the other side, and press down with a bit of pressure into the sesame seeds. Transfer to a baking sheet, pistachio side down, and place the cookies next to each other with no space between them.
Bake between 8 to 10 minutes—no more! Let them cool to room temperature before transferring them to a cooling rack, and enjoy!
|4 ¼ cups or 500 grams of flour|
|1 cup minus 1 teaspoon or 250 grams of ghee, room temperature|
|½ cup or 125 grams of sugar|
|½ cup or 125 grams of water|
For the sesame seeds:
|.85 cups or 200 grams of toasted sesame seeds|
|1 tablespoon granulated sugar|
|1 tablespoon date molasses|
|1 tablespoon thick simple syrup|
|2 to 4 tablespoons water|
|100 grams crushed unsalted pistachio|
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