What’s a feast without something sweet for dessert? Following up on yesterday’s post about fetta, a traditional savory dish for Egyptian feasts, we’d like to top it off with another tradition: kahk. This cookie is very special, only eaten at feast times, and, as usual, there are several variations! You can eat it without any filling, with a date filling, (as the following recipe explains), or with walnuts! You know you’ve made perfect kahk when the cookie MELTS in your mouth.
Guided by another friend’s recipe, we have developed this vegan version. My taste testers were very pleased with this adaptation of their traditional favorite. [Thanks Nevine!!!] Give it a try and let us know what you think!
Makes about 17 cookies
For the date filling:
63 grams (about 3) dried dates, coarsely chopped
6 grams (about 1/2 tablespoon) of non-dairy butter [*For our Egyptian readers: we used ‘samna nebeti’]
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
For the cookies:
250 grams of flour, sifted (about 2 cups)
188 grams of non-dairy butter (about 2 cups) [*For our Egyptian readers: we used ‘samna nebeti’]
7 grams (about 1 package) of active yeast
10 grams (about 1 tablespoon) powdered sugar plus about 3/4 of a cup reserved for dusting
50 grams (about 2 teaspoons) lukewarm water
Make the date filling:
1. Heat the dates, butter, and cinnamon on medium heat until melted and sticky.
2. Let the mix cool.
3. Shape into flat balls.
4. Set aside.
Make the cookies:
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 (350 degrees F or 180 degrees C).
1. Heat the non-dairy butter (or samna) until almost boiling.
2. Add the flour to the melted butter or samna and mix in a food processor for about 2 minutes.
3. In a separate container, mix the yeast with the sugar in lukewarm water. Leave the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
4. Combine the water mixture and the flour mixture with your hands until the water is absorbed and the mixture becomes smooth. (Don’t worry if the flour mix seems watery even before you add the water mixture. It will work into a ball as you mix with your hands.)
5. Keep kneading the dough until smooth.
6. Divide the mix into smooth, round balls.
7. Make an indentation in the ball to add the filling. Add the filling and then shape the edges of the ball around the filling again.
8. Put the filled cookies on cookie sheets and make lines across the cookies with a fork. We used a special tool for this kind of cookie available in the local stores (see the above picture). Doing this just provides some texture for the powdered sugar to cling to when cool.
9. Let the cookies rest for 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours in a warm place.
10. Bake them in an oven at gas mark 4 (350 degrees F or 180 degrees C) for about 25 minutes. They should be a bit golden, but not brown.
11. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the sheets for about 5 minutes. Then, place them on wire racks to completely cool.
12. When completely cool, dust with reserved powdered sugar.
Nutritional Information (for 1 cookie):
Calories: 109; Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 0g; Carbohydrates: 15g; Fiber: 1g; Protein: 2g