Kahk – Egyptian Cookies
Recipe: Kahk -Egyptian Cookies
Kahk are traditional Egyptian Cookies that are generally baked during Eid. These cookies are amazingly tasty with a fabulous fine crumb, melt in the mouth texture, and aromatic. They are baked plain or with a filling. And believe me both taste so good. You’ll not be able to stop at one. Best part is that they are not overly sweet.
Whenever I come across a recipe that I like, I tend to pin to my Pinterest Board called Must Try. Most pins just sit there some for several years. Egyptian Eid Cookies as they are also known as is one of them.
Sharing This Recipe With Sunday Funday Group
Wendy who blogs at A Day in the Life on the Farm recently went on a holiday to Egypt. Obviously, she suggested that we share Egyptian Recipes. While many are meat based, there are a few that are suitable for vegetarians. Koshari being one of them. The choice was between preparing Koshari and Kahk both which I’ve wanted to make for ages. When Wendy posted the theme, I got excited and referred to the saved pins. As Diwali is just round the corner, I opted to bake Kahk.
Kahk – Egyptian Cookies
All the ingredients were sitting on my kitchen top for 3 days. Every time I would think of baking them, the weather would decide to not to be too sunny. This year I feel we’ve had more grey and cloudy days than sunny days. Canada is known for its bright sunny Fall and Winter. Well, you must be thinking what has that got to do with baking kahk. Actually was thinking more on how the video and photos would turn out. I prefer shooting in natural light.
Hubby had a strict warning not to touch the ingredients. He wakes up too early and clears the kitchen counters before he prepares his breakfast. You may think “how sweet, how helpful” but not at all! I land up spending more time looking for the ingredients in my pantry. Generally, I know exactly what is where and don’t like to change the order.
Anyway, getting back to Kahk, finally prepared them on Saturday. Had no choice, grey or sunny weather! Had to have the post ready for Sunday. The process is longer than normal cookies we bake, but it definitely is worth it. I kept on switching the oven light to check on them and thought ” these look like rocks”. Wow, was I suprised when I picked one off the tray after the baking time was over, they are super light and the texture simply astonishing. Taste wise they remind me of the traditional Diwali Googra that I make during the festival.
Where Did Kahk Originate From?
Many Middle Eastern countries prepare a version of Kahk during Eid. Mostly, enjoyed when friends and family get together to celebrate the festival or given out as gifts. It is believed that there are carvings in the ruins of Memphis and Thebes that depict people making these cookies.
To Create Patterns Or Not On The Cookies
Kahk cookies are characterized by geometric patterns. Most Egyptian households have cookie pattern press or a maamoul mold. Different patterns indicate different fillings in the cookies. I don’t have a cookie pattern press so used a fork and my silicon waffle mold.
Types Of Fillings:
I opted to fill the cookies with Agameya filling. I used a mixture of pistachios and walnuts. However, you can use a filling of your choice.
Malban is Turkish Delight. The chewy filling is quite popular for kahk.
Agwa is a date paste filling.Pitted soft dates are mixed with ghee, sesame seeds and cinnamon powder.
This is a mixture of sesame seeds, ghee, flour, honey and nuts. Usually walnuts are used but one can add any nuts. The flour is roasted in ghee till it becomes dark brown. Roasted sesame seeds and honey are added and cooked till the mixture becomes thick. Then the chopped nuts are added.
Can fill the cookies with chopped nuts. A mixture or one type.
Some More Eid Festival Recipes That You May Like
Check Out Egyptian Dishes Prepared By Members Of Sunday Funday
- Culinary Cam: Hawawshi and Other Egyptian-Inspired Dishes
- Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Egyptian Borek (Cheese Filled Hand Pies)
- Palatable Pastime: Baked Chicken with Baharat
- A Day in the Life on the Farm: Salata Baladi
- Sneha’s Recipe: Mahalabia
- Karen’s Kitchen Stories: Egyptian Sweet Rolls
- Pandemonium Noshery: Molokhia
- Mayuri’s Jikoni: Kahk, Egyptian Cookies
Ingredients Required For Kahk – Egyptian Cookies
All purpose flour. I used the store brand all purpose flour which made the dough a bit tough. Next time I’ll be using the flour for cakes and pastries. Need 1 tbsp extra flour for the filling.
The essential ingredient for Kahk. Most blogs that I visited before deciding how I was going to prepare the cookies, highly recommend the use of ghee and not butter. Ghee is clarified butter which is easily available in health shops, Indian stores and online too. I love the subtle aroma and the grainy texture of Nanak Ghee, a Canadian brand. The solid part of ghee is used and not the liquid. A little ghee is required to prepare the filling.
Different recipes call for different quantities and type of sugar. Some use granular and some powdered. I went with powdered as for most shortbread recipes use that for a more melt in the mouth kind of texture. As for dusting the baked cookies you need a generous amount of powdered or icing sugar.
Is an important ingredient as it lends flavour to the cookies. However, it is not easily available in my part of the world. As a substitute one can use ¼ tsp each cinnamon and cardamom powder and ⅛ tsp of nutmeg.
For the dough and the filling. Roast the sesame seeds till they are light pinkish in colour.
Dry instant active yeast. ⅛. Perhaps it helps to make the cookies lighter. The dough does not have to ferment. However, need to rest it for 30 minutes.
A raising agent. Some use some don’t. I would recommend it as it helps to make the cookies more airy.
It takes very little to balance the flavours.
I have used warm milk. You can use warm water. The amount required will depend on how much the flour absorbs the liquid.
For the filling. Use walnuts or any nuts of your choice. I have used a mixture of pistachios and walnuts. Chop or process the nuts to a coarse powder.
Required for the filling.
KAHK - EGYPTIAN COOKIES
FOR THE DOUGH
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
- ¼ tsp cardamom powder
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg powder
- ½ tsp instant yeast
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp sesame seeds roasted
- 1 cup ghee solid part
- ⅓ -½ cup milk or water warm
FOR THE AGAMEYA FILLING
- 1 tbsp ghee solid
- 1 tbsp all purpose flour
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds roasted
- ¼ cup pistachios coarse powder
- ¼ cup walnuts coarse powder
- ½ cup powdered sugar
PREPARATION OF THE DOUGH
- Sieve flour, spices, salt, baking powder and yeast together.
- Add the roasted sesame seeds and mix.
- Add ghee in a mixing bowl. Add the powdered sugar.
- Using your food processor or hand whisk, cream the ghee and sugar till it becomes pale in colour. I used a food processor and it took 10 minutes.
- Add the flour mixture. Turn on the machine again. Allow the dough to be mixed with the ghee. It should resemble like cookie crumbs or sand.
- At first add ⅓ cup liquid to the flour ghee mixture. Using your hand, knead the dough gently to bring it together.
- If the dough appears dry, add 1 tbsp liquid at a time till you have a pliable dough.
- Take a small piece of the dough, roll and press it. If no cracks are formed, the dough is good. If it cracks then you may need to add more liquid, tbsp at a time.
- Cover the dough with cling film or a lid and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes.
PREPARATION OF AGAMEYA, THE FILLING
- Melt the ghee in a wide pan over low to medium heat.
- Add the flour and roast it till it turns dark brown. This takes about 5-7 minutes.
- Take the pan off the heat. Add sesame seeds and honey.
- Return the pan to the heat. Mix till the mixture becomes thick.
- Take the pan off the heat. Add the nuts and mix well.
- Allow the filling to cool down for 10 minutes.
PREPARATION OF THE COOKIES
- Preheat the oven to 180℃.
- Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
- Divide the filling into 20 parts. Roughly each part is about 1 tsp.
- Roll them into balls.
- Now divide the dough. You can use a weighing scale and weigh each part into 20g. Or use a tablespoon measure.
- Roll them into balls. Make sure there are no cracks. If cracks appear wet the hand slightly with water and roll the dough.
- I added the filling to 20 balls. The rest were baked without any filling.
- Take one part of the dough ball and using your fingers, shape into a cup.
- Place the filling ball in it. Cover it up with the dough. Repeat till all the filling is used up.
- Make sure no cracks appear, so roll them properly.
- Arrange the dough balls in the baking tray.
- Using a cookie press or a fork, make patterns on top of each dough ball.
- Bake the cookies for 20 minutes or till the bottom is light golden in colour.
- Allow the cookies to cool in the tray for 5 minutes.
- Move them to a wire rack and allow them to cool down completely.
- Sprinkle the cookies with powdered or icing sugar before serving them.
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