I'm not quite sure why but I've been going through a bit of a cookie phase lately and just can't get enough of them. There are virtually endless varieties from all over the world and when I came across a recipe for these little sweeties in a cookbook at Matee Turkish restaurant in Newtown I just had to give them a try. The name of these translates to "a piece of sugar" due to dousing the baked cookies into sugar syrup. I've put my own spin on the flavour of the syrup by infusing fresh thyme leaves as it simmered and using jaggery rather than regular white sugar.
- 2 eggs
- 250g butter, room temperature
- ½ cup caster sugar
- ½ cup semolina
- 500g flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup pistachios
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1½ cups white sugar
- ½ cup jaggery
- 3 cups water
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
For the syrup, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer until syrupy. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla and lemon zest and continue beating. Add one egg at a time and beat until creamy.
Stir in the semolina, flour and baking powder to form a dough. Do not over mix. Roll tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls or press into moulds.
Arrange on a lined baking tray 2 cm apart and top each one with a pistachio. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
When the sekepare is cooked and while they are still hot, pour over the syrup. Serve topped with a little ground pistachio, if you wish.