Simit Cookies

Pastry Chef Alexandra Artinian of Alcove shares her recipe for simit (also known as sesame twists), a traditional, not-too-sweet Armenian cookie that’s practically made for dunking into a warm cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. “These are cookies I grew up eating and it was always a treat when my grandma or aunt would pull out the Tupperware full of them,” Artinian says. The recipe calls for mahlab, a Middle Eastern spice made from grinding the seeds of St. Lucie cherries, but don’t let that intimidate you—you should be able to find it at a local specialty market (try the ones in Watertown).

See more holiday cookie recipes here.


Yields: 32 cookies


  • 4 cups flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon mahlab
  • 5 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Egg wash (1 egg, water, pinch of salt)


  1. Mix together dry ingredients and whisk.
  2. Add wet ingredients and knead well.
  3. Let stand for 1/2 hour.
  4. Divide the dough into 32 small balls.
  5. Roll the balls into ropes or sticks and lay flat.
  6. Brush egg wash onto the cookies.
  7. Sprinkle with white and/or black sesame seeds.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees or 375 degrees until golden.

You may also be interested in