Kahk (Egyptian cookies)
Making and eating kahk is a thoroughly Egyptian tradition, in that it dates back to Pharaonic times. Drawings of the process, which differs little from the past, have been discovered on the walls of the 18th dynasty tombs in Memphis and Thebes. The cookies were inscribed with images of the sun goddess. Now they are insribed with a special decorative mold.
Kahk is a delicious, buttery cookie with a surprise inside. Kahk is made and consumed for Christmas, Easter and other special occasions by Christians in Egypt. It is also a staple for Egyptian Muslims during Eid (which follows Ramadan).
1 cups unsalted butter
½ cup milk
2 ¼cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon instant yeast
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
Filling: nuts, honey, sugar, date spread, or other filling
Heat the butter until almost boiling. In seperate bowl, add the baking powder and the spices to the flour. Slowly add the flour mixture to the hot butter and stir thoroughly.
When the mixture cools (warm to touch), add the instant yeast to the milk with ½ teaspoon of sugar, then stir gently into the dough. Knead it for a short while, cover and let it rest for an hour.
Shape dough into balls, then flatten them. Put 1 tsp. of nuts, honey, sugar, agwa (date spread) or other filling. These cookies have very little sugar in them, so be sure to put honey or sugar in with your chosen filling.
Fold the edge under and pinch closed. Flatten somewhat and mark the top with a fork.
Put them on a cookie tray and let them rest. Bake in preheated oven (345 F) until golden. Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar when done.