Cookbook Profile

Sesame Cookies


Baraziq are a Syrian specialty, but you will also find them in most shops in Lebanon. On the street they are sold only during Ramadan, when they are loaded onto wooden carts together with Ramadan and date breads. The size of those sold on the street is much larger than the dainty ones you buy in sweet shops. You can make yours either size, depending on your preference, but a word of warning—they are much easier to handle when they are made small.

Makes 18-20 small cookies


For the cookies:
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 medium egg
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour,
     plus more for kneading
pinch salt
1/3 teaspoon baking powder

For the garnish:
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 cup quartered pistachio nuts
1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted in a nonstick pan
     until lightly golden

1. Put the sugar and softened butter in a mixing bowl and work together with a wooden spoon until completely blended. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend with your hands until you have a soft dough. If the dough is too soft to work with immediately, refrigerate it for 1 hour. Divide the dough into 18-20 pieces to make small baraziq or 6 pieces to make the larger size.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Shape each ball of dough with your hands until you have quite a thin disk, about 2 1/2 inches wide, and place on a large platter. When you have shaped all the disks, dip each in the egg white, then in the pistachios on one side and the toasted sesame seeds on the other. Make sure you coat them well with the seeds. Arrange on the lined baking sheet with the pistachio side down.

4. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown. Let cool before serving. Baraziq will keep for up to 2 weeks in a hermetically sealed container.


Buy the Book!


Mediterranean Street Food
Stories, Soups, Snacks, Sandwiches, Barbecues,
Sweets, and More, from Europe, North Africa,
and the Middle East
by Anissa Helou
HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 0060195967
Hardcover, 304 pages
$29.95; $44.95 (CAN)
Recipe reprinted by permission.


Mediterranean Street Food



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This page created October 2002