Friday, 9 August 2013

Palestinian Eid Cookies Recipe: Happy Eid

Thirty days of the fasting Ramadan month has gone and yesterday marked the first day of the Eid celebration when Muslims stop fasting and attend to thanksgiving, family visits, giving to the poor, and hmmm...cookies. Yes, cookies is the official dessert of this occasion. Today we have a very yummy recipe for those amazing round goodies on the Palestinian style (there are many variations that all lead to tummy Rome!) Are you up to some baking? Read on....

Eid cookies are usually prepared a day or two before the Eid and are served with tea, or Arabic (or Turkish) coffee. Some buy them from bakery and desserts stores, but nothing beats home made, especially for the fresh aroma filling the house. They come in a variety of stuffing, most famous of which are dates, walnuts, and pistachios. Here is the recipe for the three of them and you can make all or choose to use one stuffing at a time!

Dough ingredients:

- 1 kg soft samolina (find at Mediterranean, Italian, etc. or sometimes general grocery stores in flour isle).
- 1 kg white flour, sifted
- 1 cup confetti sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup melted butter
- 1 cup liquid milk
- 1 TBS instant yeast
- 1 TSP sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 TSP salt
- 2 TBS Mediterranean/Arabic cookies spices (found at any Mediterranean grocery store ready mixed in one bag; they consist of all or some of the following: fennel, anise, cardamon, nutmeg, cinnamon, mahaleb cherry...) Hint: just buy the ready mix ;)
- 1 TBS rose water, optional

Ingredients of dates stuffing:
- 250 gm dates, seedless, kneaded (can be bought from stores as thus)
- 1/2 TSP ground cinnamon
- 3 TBS sesame seeds
- Sprinkle of cookies spices (see above dough ingredients)
- 3 TBS vegetable oil

Ingredients of walnut stuffing: 
- 200 gm walnuts, chopped small
- 1 TSP rose water
- 2 TBS confetti sugar melted in 1 TBS water
- 2 TBS coconut shavings, optional

Ingredients for pistachio stuffing:
- 200 gm pistachio, ground small
- 2 TBS confetti sugar melted in 1 TBS water
- 1 TSP rose water

1- Dough: In a large bowl, place the melted butter and the semolina and knead with hands then with fingers separating chunks until all homogeneous.Cover and let stand for 12 hours if desired in the fridge and take out half an hour before usage. 
2- Mix the flour, powder sugar and salt together then add to the semolina mixture and mix with hands.
3- Melt the yeast with the warm water and 1 TSP of sugar and let stand for 5 minutes to activate the yeast. Add the oil and the yeast to the rest of the ingredients and knead well with hands for 10 minutes.
4- Add the cookie spices, rose water, and milk and knead well for another 10 minutes, until you have a soft and easy to shape dough (test by making any shape). If too soft add some flour; if too dry add some milk. Cover and let rest for some time until preparing the stuffing. 

5- Date stuffing: Mix all date stuffing ingredients (above) in a bowl and knead well with hands then form into small balls and let stand. 
6- Walnut stuffing: Mix all walnut ingredients together in a bowl and let stand. 
7- Pistachio stuffing: Mix all pistachio stuffing ingredients together in a bowl and let stand. 

8- To make the cookies, on a smooth surface slightly brushed with oil, cut the dough to small-medium balls according to the desired size, then spread each ball into a rope shape about 20 cm. 
9- Press with tips of fingers on the rope-shaped dough to flatten each. Spread the stuffing you want, close the edges on the stuffing, and roll the rope so that you have a stuffed rope shaped dough.
10- Shape the rope like a circle (wheel) closing both edges together by finger pressing. Sprinkle sesame seeds over each cookie. Place rolled cookies on oven trays lined with butter paper or slightly oil brushed leaving spaces between them (Try to give each stuffing a marked sign like a different sprinkle or no sprinkle or press a fork to give some dotty shape on the circle cookies).
11- Preheat baking oven to 180ْ C. Bake each tray until cookies are golden at the bottom and very slightly golden at top. Usually it is left to cool, then stored in a covered container and preferably covered with a fabric first. Sprinkle confetti sugar only when presenting.  

Variations (Fun, if you are really into it!):
In our household and several others, the main way to differentiate each stuffing is by varying the shape of the cookies. Usually it is as follows (Remember, only a matter of preference): 

- Date stuffing cookies shaped into the wheels described above.

- Walnuts: Shape the dough balls into a circle, place the stuffing, close and roll into ball again, place in cookie mold (see picture-comes in wood or plastic; obtain any shapes from your store or specific Mediterranean ones from specialty stores--your choice). Press, then softly knock the mold on a hard surface for the shaped cookie to fall gently. Choose a rounder shape for the walnuts stuffing cookies. Full circle for dates if you don't want to make the wheel shapes.   

- Pistachios: Same as walnuts but mold choice would be a longer shape resembling a leaf. 

_ A simple way of differentiation (again) is varying the sprinkling of the confetti sugar. 

This convention, helps lots of people know what's inside each cookie without asking the host each time they visit :) Yet again, not a rule of thumbs; just do your variations...    

I really hope you enjoyed this shared recipe and if you try it, please leave us a comment on your experience or share your own recipes with us!

Estimated nutritional value per each cookie--varies according to size and stuffing:

Enjoy :) 

Happy Eid from the MBH social media team to all our Muslim audience!

Source of recipe (originally in Arabic, our translation):

- Cookies:
- Date balls:
- Rolling wheels:
- Wooden circle mold:
- Cookie variety:
- Happy Eid:


  1. I love Middle Eastern cuisine, thanks for sharing. How is called the clip with peaks pictured above? Thanks, I await your response.

  2. Hi Sony, Thank you for your comment and interest. I frankly did not get which picture or step you are asking about. Could you please clarify and I will be glad to answer as I too love Middle Eastern cuisine :)...


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