I’m an unashamed fan of sesame seeds and am always on the lookout for interesting recipes that use them as a key ingredient. Browsing through this month’s book for The Cookbook Guru, Saha, by Greg and Lucy Malouf, I saw these little treats and instantly wanted to give them a go. Fortunately there is nothing out of the ordinary included in the ingredient list so I was able to whip them up very quickly and had delicious little shortbread style treats being pulled from the oven within the hour.
From first bite I can see why these are very popular snacks in Lebanon and Syria. The texture was buttery and shortbread like without being too sweet. The sesame certainly dominate, but for a sesame lover like me that is a welcome thing. For future bakes I’d be very tempted to make these next time skipping the pistachios as I didn’t think they added much to the overall flavour or texture and if I was to mess with the recipe a little further in the future I think they’d also be delicious with a touch of cardamom added to the dough.
Barazek Sesame Pistachio Biscuits
from Saha by Greg and Lucy Malouf
makes about 25-30 biscuits
- 40g brown sugar
- 40g icing sugar
- 200g self-raising flour
- 150g unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 egg
- 60g sesame seeds, lightly toasted
- 50g pistachio nuts, chopped into slivers
Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg and combine well. Then add in the flour until the mixture forms a sticky dough. To make the dough easier to work with place it into the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm it up.
When the dough is ready to bake heat your oven to 180c. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
Form small balls approx 2cm in diameter with the dough, pressing one side into the chopped pistachios and the other into the sesame seeds. Shake any loose nuts free and then place on the baking tray. Leave about 5cm between biscuits as they will double in size when cooked. Bake the biscuits for approx 10-15 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
Serve cold with a cup of strong coffee or peppermint tea.
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