Hye Thyme Cafe: Baraze

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baraze

 

If you're looking to add a new cookie to your holiday repertoire, this should be it!! A year or so ago, I was looking for uses for a seasoning we use in Choreg (Armenian Sweet Rolls). It's called Mahlab, and is really the inside of cherry pits. How people come up with these things is beyond me! So I Googled Mahlab and found this recipe on Cave Cibum. It seems that Pam and I have a few things in common - some recipes, our nationality, and we even grew up in the same general area. I had never heard of this cookie though. According to Pam, it was a Lebanese recipe in one of her Armenian cookbooks. Wherever it originated, I'm sure glad she found it and blogged about it.  We're addicted to these things now!! 

If you don't have an Armenian bakery in your area or some other Middle Eastern type place to find the Mahlab in, you can order it online from spice shops like Penzey's. If you don't have a coffee grinder at home, make sure you get it already ground. If you do have one, I recommend grinding it yourself. That way, it will be fresh, and any extra you have will keep longer than the ground. I usually store the ground Mahlab in the fridge or freezer, depending on how long it will be between uses. 

INGREDIENTS :
3 c flour
1 c sugar
1 T+ Mahlab
2 T baking powder
2 sticks butter, melted
1/4 c warm water
4 T honey
2 T warm water
sesame seeds (about 3/4 c)
pistachios, finely chopped (about 1/2 c)


 

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine the flour, sugar, mahlab, baking powder, butter, and water. Mix until firm, and refrigerate for 15 -20".



In a small bowl, combine honey and water, stirring to dissolve the honey. On a small plate, combine the sesame seeds and pistachio pieces.










Pam rolled her dough into walnut-sized balls and them flattened them into circles. For some reason, I got it in my head to make them stick shaped.  Maybe the sesame seeds made me think of those stubby bread sticks. Either way is fine, but it's actually probably easier with the sticks. Rather than brushing them with the honey mixture and dipping them in the seeds, I just dunked them in the honey and moved right over to the seeds.

Set up on trays lined with parchment or sprayed (I prefer the PAM for Baking when I'm not using parchment). Give them about an inch of elbow room - as you will notice from my pics, they may have gone in somewhat stick shaped but they spread into ovals in the oven.



























Bake for 10-15" until they just start to brown. They have a slightly chewy texture, and the Mahlab gives them great flavor!



Thanks Pam - love these!!!  :) 



2 comments:

  1. I'm glad you liked these! I'm like you - always looking for more ways to use mahleb - and I was so happy when my first batch of these turned out tasty.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm thinking of trying it in a scone or biscotti to see how that turns out since it works so well in this cookie. Just bought a bag of pistachios yesterday with these in mind. ;)

    ReplyDelete

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