Wednesday, December 27, 2006


This is a rich middle-eastern shortbread that's served during Eid al-Fitr, the three day binge at the end of Ramadan. I've included the way I made them - the original recipe is on Epicurious. I've seen other recipes that call for half semilona flour, which might be interesting.

The spices are subtle - with just the faintest aroma of orange and rose. They aren't really a dessert cookie, but do go amazingly well with coffee.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup duck fat [the original recipe said shortening, but I refuse to use that]
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange-flower water, or to taste
Preheat oven to 300°F.

Beat together flour, sugar, butter, fat, cardamom, rose water, and orange-flower water until a smooth dough forms.

Roll dough into walnut-size balls, then squeeze each into a crescent shape.

Arrange cookies, 1 inch apart, on 2 ungreased baking sheets and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until dry to the touch but still white, 20 to 22 minutes total.

Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.

(makes 34)

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