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My Halwa Shebakia -- Special Ramadan Sesame Cookies

Prep Time: 1 hrs
Cook Time: 35 mins


1 lb flour
8 ounces butter
1/2 lb sesame seed, plus additional toasted seeds for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon dry yeast, dissolved in
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
vegetable oil (for frying)
25 ounces honey


1 In a food processor process all the ingredients, except the honey, into a paste.

2 Take a walnut-sized piece of paste and roll it out very thin. Using a metal cut-out typically found in Morocco, with different designs, a small shaped cookie cutter, pie crust/ravioli wheel or knife and cut out cookies and let them rise for 15 minutes. If not using a cookie cutter which I don't, simply cut strips and twist them into a spiral or figure 8. I do the figure 8 making sure it is secure by slightly pinching in 2-3 places.

3 Deep-fry the cookies in a skillet or fryer in the remaining oil in batches over low heat just to brown.

4 3-Soak the cookies in the honey for 15 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Let sit until the honey sets a bit.

5 Store in a plastic bag or container.

6 One person emailed me when this was posted on my website stating that her cookies fell apart in frying. This should not happen though if it does, 5g of gum arabic may be added to the recipe at processing stage or re-processed briefly to add.

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