Give your holiday cookie tradition a hint of the Middle East with barazek, a Lebanese cookie that’s become a integral part of Maura Kilpatrick’s repertoire. “It’s similar to candy because of the honey on top,” says the pastry chef. “It’s one of my favorites to serve this time of year—I was immediately drawn to it because of the clarified butter. It is so beautiful!”
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons water
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup clarified butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1-2 cups pistachios, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup mild flavored honey, wildflower or orange blossom
- Combine sugar and water in small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Chill syrup until needed.
- Combine flour and baking powder, set aside.
- In bowl of stand mixer, using paddle attachment, combine clarified butter at room temperature with chilled sugar syrup until smooth (about 3 minutes). Add flour and baking powder until a smooth dough is formed. Wrap dough in plastic and chill for 1 hour. The dough can be made up to 4 days ahead of time, but will need to come to room temperature before baking.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Set up sesame seeds and chopped pistachios in 2 separate shallow bowls or plates. Using a tablespoon or portion scoop for the dough, place scoop in pistachios, flatten cookie to force nuts into bottom. Place cookie on parchment lined baking sheet. Using the back of a spoon, spread cookie into a circle about 1 inch in diameter.
- Warm honey slightly so it becomes more liquid. Brush a small amount of honey on each cookie, then coat top of each in sesame seeds. Return to baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes or until golden around the edges. Cool completely on baking sheets.