Today we stop in Turkey for some dessert. Yes, you read it right. I finally caved in to my Mediterranean sweets temptation. For the past 6-7 weeks we were off sugars and did not eat any desserts until last Thursday. We ate Anzac cookies few weeks ago and a kit Kat once or twice, but other than we did not eat any sweet until I made these decadent Turkish cookies. Sekerpare are cookies soaked in sugar syrup and from what I read, these are the second most popular sweet in Turkey after baklava.
My first choice of country for T was Thailand and I had disaster after disaster cooking up a dish from this country. I first tried a mango pudding which was average in taste and second preparation was Thai corn fritters. I like corn and I liked the fritters but everyone who tasted it said it was very bland. I kept it as a backup recipe and tried Northern Thai Chicken Curry which was a flop show. T is one alphabet which gave me a very hard time and became my thekua from Jharkhand of last mega marathon. Last week U asked what was next on my international cuisine and when I mentioned I want to redo T and listed out all the T countries, he wanted to me try Turkey. I made knafeh few months ago and we liked it a lot. That is a cheese pastry made with phyllo sheets and soaked in sugar syrup. I substituted half the phyllo sheets with vermicelli. It is similar to Turkish kunefe. As vermicelli is also used a lot of Turkish desserts, I wanted to make something with phyllo or vermicelli. As I was searching for Turkish sweets with vermicelli, I found sekerpare recipe and here I am with this sweet. I am glad I changed the country for T and made these cookies. It is bit on the sweeter side but we still loved it.
Source: My Turkish Kitchen
Total Time: 30 – 40 minutes
Preparation: 10 – 20 minutes
Bake Time: 19 minutes
- 1 ¼ cups Sugar
- 1 ½ cups of Water
- ½ tbsp. Lime Juice
- 1 stick or ½ cup Unsalted Butter
- ½ cup Powdered Sugar (you would need appox. ⅓ cup granulated sugar, powdered)
- 1 Egg
- 2 tbsp. Semolina
- 1 tbsp. Coconut Flakes
- ½ tsp. Baking Soda
- 1 ½ cups of Flour
- 20 -22 Almonds or Hazelnuts (I used almonds)
- Syrup - First prepare the syrup. Take all the ingredients listed under syrup in a saucepan and cook on medium flame for 11 minutes. Stir it once every few minutes until sugar melts and let it come to a boil, and continue boiling. The total cooking time from melting the sugar to boiling the syrup is 11 minutes. Let the syrup cool.
- Cookies - Melt butter and keep aside. I put it in the microwave for 1 minute.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Mix together melted butter, powdered sugar, egg, semolina, coconut and baking soda.
- Add flour slowly to make soft dough. I used hand held mixer to mix the wet and dry ingredients. Once the ingredients are mixed, I used my fingers to make soft dough.
- Pinch about 1 tbsp. of dough and make round ball and flatten it a little. Place it on a baking sheet. Do the same with rest of the dough. This dough yields 20 – 22 cookies. Place an almond or a hazelnut on top of each cookie.
- Bake for 18 – 19 minutes until cookies turn brown. The recipe called for baking the cookies for 30 minutes but mine were done in 19 minutes. By then my kitchen was filled with baked cookies aroma. Though the cookies tasted wonderful, I felt I should have removed the cookies a minute earlier.
- Once the cookies are brown, take them out of the oven and pour the syrup on cookies. Let the cookies soak for few minutes and are ready to serve.
- Mr.U came home when I was soaking the cookies. He tasted one thought the cookies were too sweet. So I removed the cookies from the syrup once the cookies were soaked and soft inside.
- Cookies were good for one day at room temperature. I read they stay good for few days in an air tight container at room temperature but these did not last more than a day.