I have been obsessed with these cookies, or at least the commercially made version in Israel by Abadi. When I get to the Kosher Market in MD, I seek out a bag, usually sitting at a bottom shelf hidden in the shadows and dark. I would cruise up and down the aisles, with a rickety cart, I always fall on one, until I find them in the somewhat disorganized market shelves. Though I must say the owner is real nice. The minute I upload my groceries into the trunk of my car, I fetch the Abadi cookie bag, and rip through it, to munch on a few more than necessary cookies, while I drive. It's a predictable scene, without fail, every single time.
You can be playful, you can sprinkle the cookies with a mix of both black and white sesame seeds. When I make the next batch I will try to sprinkle some with zaatar. Am curious how it will turn out. In the book they also brilliantly suggest to serve these addictive, crumbly cookies at cocktail parties or as an appetizer with a tahini and yogurt herb dip. I simply like my savory cookies along with tea, but I will definitely make the dip for one of my Chanukah parties or bring it to a Christmas party during the season.
This book has been sent to me as a review copy, as I mentioned in my Burnt Eggplant with Garlic Lemon and Pomegranate Seeds post, but I've been obsessed with it for months before it arrived. When I received it, I felt like I hit the lottery. The little pleasures that make me so happy!
Savory Sesame and Fennel Cookies - Ka'ach
adapted from Jerusalem, A Cookbook
makes about 30-40
4 cups all purpose flour
6 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 1/2 tablespoon water (300ml)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds, slightly crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
1 egg for brushing, whisked
Black and white sesame seeds to sprinkle on top
Zaatar to sprinkle on top (optional in sesame seed dough instead of sesames as a sprinkle)
Fennel seeds (optional in fennel seed dough)
Tahini, Yogurt Herb Dipping Sauce
1 1/4oz flat leaf parsley
1 clove garlic
Scant 2 tablespoons tahini paste
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
5 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of salt
For the cookies:
Preheat the oven to 400F.
In a large bowl add the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, baking powder and sesame seeds or fennel seeds and mix. Make a well in the middle of the flour and into the well add the oil and butter. Gradually add the water and mix until a dough forms. Knead for a couple of minutes.
Line 2 cookies sheets with parchment paper. Form 1oz dough balls into a 3/8inch thick, 5-5 1/2 inch long ropes. Form each rope into a ring and line on a parchment paper lined cookies sheet, approximately 3/4 inch apart.
Instructions in the book say to let cookies at this point proof for 30 minutes. I didn't. I proceeded directly to bake them.
Brush the cookies with the whisked egg and sprinkle the sesame cookie dough only, with either black or white, or both, sesame seeds.
Bake for 22-25 minutes (ovens vary, took me 25min) until lightly golden on top. Let completely cool at room temperature and store in an air tight container for up to 10 days.
For the dipping sauce:
Blitz all dipping sauce ingredients in a food processor until uniformly colored and smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of water if sauce is too thick and refrigerate before serving.