A Special Recipe from Amir's Blue Jacket: Delicious Ka'k
Baking cookies is fun cold-weather activity families can do in preparation for Ramadan or Eid. Baking warms up the kitchen, fills up the house with delicious smells, and you get a tasty treat when you’re done!
Today we would love to share Sarah Musa’s ka’ak recipe. (She’s author of Amir’s Blue Jacket!) It’s just the thing for a chilly winter day.
This recipe makes lots! So you can even share some with guests and neighbors, just like Amir’s Grandpa loved to do!
Ka’ak for Eid (or any other day)
3 cups of all purpose flour
3/4 cup of fine semolina
3/4 cup warm milk (or more if needed)
1 teaspoon of instant dry yeast
1/2 cup of sugar
1/8 cup toasted sesame seeds (optional)
1/8 cup nigella seeds (optional)
3/4 cup of olive oil
3/4 cup of ghee or softened butter
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
1 tbsp anise seeds
1/2 teaspoon mahlab
1/2 teaspoon mistikah
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon cardamon pods
1 lb or 0.5 kg date paste or pitted soft dates, kneaded or mixed up in a food processor
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
2 tbsp. olive oil, butter, or ghee
- Mix warm milk and yeast together. Set aside until frothy.
- Grind the spices together in a spice blender.
- Combine flour, semolina, spices, sugar, sesame seed, nigella seeds with olive oil and ghee or softened butter. Mix together until the mixture has a wet sand consistency.
- Add the milk and yeast to the flour mixture. Mix gradually until you have a soft dough that doesn’t crack when you shape it unto a ball. Be careful not to over knead the dough.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 1-2 hours.
- Knead the dates or date paste with the olive oil, butter, or ghee and cardamon and cinnamon. Shape the dates into thin logs about a centimetre wide and cut them to five centimetre lengths. Make a note of how many pieces you have (after you’ve finished snacking on them.) Cover them and set aside until the dough is ready to work with.
- Divide the dough evenly into as many pieces as you have logs of date paste. Roll each piece of dough into a 5 cm long log and push your finger horizontally into the centre to make a hot-dog bun shape. Lay a log of date paste like a hot-dog into the hollow of the dough. Gently pinch and roll the dough to close it around the date log until dates are completely covered with dough. Close the edges and gently roll some more until the piece is about 10 cm long. Pinch the two ends together to form a ring. Space them evenly on a backing tray.
- Preheat the oven to 170 C or 350 F. Bake each tray for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are slightly brown. (You can also broil for a minute, watching carefully, if you want extra golden ka’ak.)
- Let them cool at least 10 minute on the baking tray before moving the ka’ak to a serving plate.
Would you like to enjoy a good book to read while eating these ka’ak? Check out Amir’s Blue Jacket!