As Eid al-Adha approaches, marking one of two major Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year, Muslims are getting ready to enjoy family gatherings and delicious snacks and sweets. We have the perfect recipes for Kaak (also known as Eid cookies) and for secret jam cookies, to satisfy your sweet tooth and impress your loved ones.
Traditional Arabic Kaak
- 1kg all-purpose flour
- 65g powdered sugar (plus extra for coating)
- 40g toasted sesame seeds (optional, but highly recommended)
- 6g baking powder
- 3g instant yeast (optional)
- 3g teaspoon salt
- 10g kaak essence (reheat kaak)
- 1g One packet vanilla powder
- 600g ghee or clarified butter at room temperature
- 160g milk, at room temperature
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 160C/ 320F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl and using an electric hand mixer, whisk together the flour, powdered sugar, sesame seeds (if using), baking powder, instant yeast (if using), salt, kaak essence and vanilla powder until well combined.
- Add the ghee (or clarified butter) and mix on medium-low speed until well blended and the dry ingredients are evenly coated. Raise speed to medium and continue mixing until the dough turns creamy and paste-like for 1 to 2 minutes.
- With the mixer running on low speed, gradually pour in the milk. Continue mixing until a cohesive dough comes together. Do not over mix. To test if the dough is mixed enough, roll an apricot-size piece of dough between your hands, then gently press on it. The dough should not crack. If it cracks, knead the dough for a few more seconds, then repeat the test. Using a measuring tablespoon or a tablespoon-sized ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, scoop out tablespoons of dough and place them on a baking sheet. You should have approximately 135 scoops of dough.
- Roll each dough into a ball, then (if filling) press the centre with your thumb to make an indentation for the filling to sit in. Add in the filling of your choice, then gather the dough up over the filling to completely cover it. Make sure that no filling is peaking out. Roll the filled dough into a smooth ball without any cracks.
- Arrange the dough balls onto a silicon mat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between each one.
- Bake until blonde on top and the bottom takes on a light golden-brown colour, for about 18 to 22 minutes.
Secret jam cookies
- 115g unsalted butter at room temperature.
- 1 egg
- 6g vanilla extract
- 50g corn starch
- 170g all-purpose flour, divided
- 7g baking powder
- For glueing and garnishing: jam, Nutella chocolate, groundnuts, coconut flakes and sprinkles.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a bowl cream the butter until it gets pale and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, egg and vanilla, and then beat.
- Sift 1 cup of the flour with cornstarch and baking powder. Keep the remaining flour aside.
- Gradually add to the butter and mix until you get a uniform dough. If you feel your dough is too soft, add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour one tablespoon at a time.
- Form 36 small balls, press lightly against the cookie sheet.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. The cookies should be lightly browned at the bottom but still pale on top. Let them cool down on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Stick two cookies together with your favourite jam or Nutella chocolate and repeat with the rest the of the batch. To decorate, get creative and roll your cookies in the groundnuts, coconut flakes or sprinkles.
Celebrate with your loved ones and treat your family to the ultimate staycation in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, with a host of sensational offers to choose from.