Halka ‘Open Sesame’ Cookies

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Wanted to introduce this simple cookie to you. I had it for the first time when I was visiting family in Istanbul last week.

The origin of the cookie is from Syria and this maybe an adaptation, since I never had the original I cannot tell. It is light and delicious with coffee or tea. Very used to seeing sesame used in savory cooking and baking, and this is great use of sesame in baking sweets.

Ingredients:

  • 3 organic eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup roasted sesame
  • 1 cup fine semolina
  • 1 packet of vanilla powder (dr.oetker)
  • 1 packet of baking powder (dr.oetker)
  • flour – use as much as it takes to attain earlobe firm dough

Step 1:
Dry roasting the unshelled sesame: you can also use shelled ones if you like, but process stays the same. Roast till you smell the sesame (barely 2 minutes or more depending on your stove) – then set aside to cool.
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Step 2:
Mix the egg and sugar – whisk well.
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Step 3:
Add the semolina, vanilla, the baking powder, and mix well.
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Next add the sesame and mix it well. Then start adding the flour slowly and keep checking for firmness. It should not be firmer than your earlobe; stop adding flour when you reach that point.
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This is what the dough looks like when everything is done:
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Step 4:
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line the baking sheets. Start forming little circles ‘halka’ and place then on the baking sheets. You can make them large small or any size you like. Optional: brush the tops with eggwash. We did for most but tried a few without and they were just as good. Bake until golden in color; take out and let cool before serving.
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Hope you enjoy this delicious sesame cookie as much as we do!
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