It's that time of the year again! Wow! I can't believe how fast time is passing. There are so many different traditions that Christians have this time of the year. In Middle Eastern cultures, it is tradition for the Middle Eastern Christians to make these glorious cookies during Easter time. Every family has a recipe of their own. This is a tasty little treat that is not too sweet, but satisfies the sugar craving nicely. They are so good! There are so many flavors blended together in each and every bite! They are usually prepared a few days before Easter and fill the house with an amazing smell that will be engraved in your mind as a taste of Easter. This is our family recipe and, to be honest, by far the best I've tried. And I have tried many different ones. It's a process to make but I promise it is worth it in the end.
5 lbs flour
4 cups farina
2 tblspns black caraway seeds (is7a)
2 tblspns mahleb*
½ tblspn ground mestek*
2 nutmeg, freshly grated
½ tspn salt
2 cups unsalted butter, melted
2 cups ghee or clarified butter, melted
1 cup canola oil
1 cup warm milk
4 cups sugar
3 tblspns yeast
½ cup warm water
1 tblspn sugar
1 1/2 cups warm milk (day 2)
* Can be found at any Middle Eastern or international markets.
Put flour, farina, black caraway seeds, mahleb, mestek, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl.
In another large bowl, add butter, ghee or clarified butter, canola oil, warm milk, 6 eggs, and 4 cups of sugar together. Whip well to mix together.
In a third bowl, mix yeast with 1/2 cup water and one tablespoon sugar. Mix, set aside, and let rise.
Slowly add wet ingredient mix to dry mix and begin to kneed.
Once yeast has risen, slowly add yeast mix to dough and continue to kneed till dough is fully mixed.
Warm oven about 225 degrees F, turn it off, let oven cool a little. Cover dough with plastic wrap and place a towel on the bowl. Place dough in oven to rise overnight. Dough will release plenty of the butter overnight.
In the morning, remove dough from the oven and kneed dough again, mixing in all the butter that has been excreted. Add 1 1/2 cups of warm milk gradually as you kneed. Make sure to kneed it well or else dough will break when molding.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Whip 3 eggs together in a bowl and add 1/4 cup milk to it and mix together.
Shape cookies, place on tray, brush beaten egg mix on cookies, and bake till cooked and a little browned. Don't forget to put wax paper on tray first.
Once baked, let cookies cool before stacking them on top of each other.
*NOTE: If you do not have ghee or clarified butter, regular unsalted butter is perfectly fine!
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #EATDRINKPLAYLA. I'd love to see how yours turned out!