Mon, 02 May 2022 - 12:36 GMT
Mon, 02 May 2022 - 12:36 GMT
CAIRO – 2 May 2022: One of the main, most joyous signs Eid al-Fitr is approaching is the Kahk smell that overwhelms the streets of Egypt.
Many Egyptian families prefer to prepare Eid al-Fitr Kahk (cookies filled with nuts and covered with powdered sugar) at home amid the joy of children, instead of buying it from bakeries.
Neighbors and friends gather to make and decorate Kahk in different shapes, enjoying the delightful scent of cookies that cling to the house. The Kahk is either filled with nuts or malban (fruit jelly); also, innovative trends have been added to the list of fillings like Nutella, red velvet and others.
This recipe makes 135 (1 tbsp-sized) cookies that you can leave plain or stuff with your filling of choice.
Ingredients for the Kahk:
1 kg (8 cups) all-purpose flour
100 g (1 cup minus 1 tablespoon) powdered sugar, plus extra for coating
1½ tablespoon (6 g) baking powder
⅛ tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon (10g) Kahk essence (reehet el-Kahk)
1 packet vanilla sugar (or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract)
600 g (2½ cups plus 2 tablespoons) ghee or clarified butter, at room temperature
160 g (2/3 cup) milk, at room temperature
For the Agameya:
3 tbsp (42.5 g) ghee or clarified butter
1 tbsp (15 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (340 g) honey
1 tbsp (10 g) toasted sesame seeds
1 cup (113 g) coarsely chopped walnuts or favorite nut (optional).
To make the Kahk dough:
1. Prepare your fillings by rolling the agameya (with or without nuts) and date paste into macadamia nuts-sized balls. Keep the agameya in the fridge until ready to use. Cut the Turkish delight (with or without nuts) into small squares and keep the plain nuts nearby.
2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F, for agameya-filled Kahk, 260C/ 500F.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whisk together the flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, salt, Kahk essence and vanilla until well combined.
4. Add the ghee (or clarified butter) and mix on medium-low speed until well blended and the dry ingredients are evenly coated.
5. With the mixer running on low speed, gradually pour in the milk. Continue mixing until cohesive dough comes together.
6. Using a tablespoon or a tablespoon-sized ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, scoop out tablespoons of dough and place on a baking sheet. You should have approximately 135 dough scoops.
7. Roll each scoop into a ball, then (if with filling) press the center with your thumb to make an indentation for the filling to sit in. Add 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.
8. Arrange the dough balls onto a silicon mat or parchment-paper-lined baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between each one.
9. To be able to distinguish between the different Kahk fillings, give them some designs. Press lightly on the dough with a kahk stamper (khattama) or decorate with kahk shaping tweezers (mona’ash), if available. If not, make a cross hatch design using the twines of a fork, or simply press down with your hand and leave plain.
10. Bake until firm to the touch and golden all over in color.
11. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool before dusting with powdered sugar, otherwise the sugar will melt on the Kahk, creating a wet surface.
12. Using a small sieve, dust the Kahk with a generous amount of powdered sugar or roll into a bowl full of sugar.
13- Serve or store in a container. Kahk will keep well at room temperature for weeks and weeks.
For chocolate lovers, Nutella Kahk would be a favorable choice for a breakfast with a cup of tea with milk on the first day of Eid al-Fitr.
Nutella Kahk ingredients:
1 Kilo of wheat for cookies
2 large spoons of raw sesame
1 large spoon of baking powder
Small amount of salt
3 cups of fat
Half cup sugar powder
1 Nutella jar
How to prepare:
1- Mix the wheat and salt together in a large bowl, add sesame and leave a hole in the middle of the mixture.
2- Add 2 cups of dissolved butter in the hole, and mix with a large spoon and then with your hand.
3- Mix the brewer’s yeast after adding sugar powder and some warm water.
4- Add the yeast to the wheat mixture, then add the rest amount of the butter and mix thoroughly until the wheat absorbs all the butter and becomes soft dough.
5- Cover the dough in a warm place until it rises.
6- Cut the dough into large lemon-size balls.
7- Make a hole inside each ball, add a spoon of Nutella and close it well. Decorate the filled balls with kahk stamp.
8- Place the Nutella-filled balls in wide bread tin. Leave them in a warm place until they rise and ferment.
9- Preheat the tin to moderate temperature degree, and place the tin in the oven. Remove the tin once the kahk’s color looks golden.