Turkish Almond Syrupy Cookies (Sekerpare)

The first time I went to Turkey, I had these sekerpare cookies and fell in love.  They’re soaked in a delicious syrup, giving them an incredibly moist crumbly texture that I’ve never had in any other cookie.  We often crave them as there’s nothing comparable available in the US.  We’ve tried making them many times with no success, until we found a recipe on yemek.com.  We reduced the sugar and replaced the vanilla extract with almond extract for an extra delicious flavor.  The result was perfect!  Finally, we can have the cookies we love at home!

Ingredients:

Cookie Dough:

  • 1 stick butter (1/2 c), softened to room temperature.  Don’t melt the butter.
  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 2½ t semolina
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white (see below Topping for the 1 egg yolk that will be remaining)
  • ¼ c sugar
  • 1¼ t baking powder
  • 1 t almond extract

Syrup:

  • 1¾ c water
  • 1½ c sugar

Topping:

  • 1 egg yolk (for brushing on top of the cookies)
  • ground pistachio (optional)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 355° F.
  • Prepare the ingredients as described above.
  • Combine and mix the Syrup ingredients in a sauce pan.  Cook over medium heat until boiling, turn heat down to simmer, and continue cooking for 10 minutes.  After cooking, turn off the heat, and let the syrup cool to room temperature. The syrup cannot be hot when it is combined with the cookies.
  • Combine and mix the Cook Dough ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix the dough until uniform with a fork, and then kneed the mixture until it is like playdough consistency.
  • Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Spray or brush oil on top.  Using your hands, form walnut-sized balls out of the mixed cookie dough.  Put them on the oiled parchment cookie sheet and press them into a flattened ellipsoid shape.
  • Use a fork to press lines on the top of each cookie.
  • Mix the egg yolk in a small bowl.  Brush the egg yolk on top of each cookie.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • After done baking, while the cookies are still hot, put the cookies in a single layer in a tray that is deeper than the cookies.  Pour the cooled syrup on top of the hot cookies.  Allow the cookies to soak for 15 minutes.  Turn the cookies over and allow them to continue to soak for another 15 minutes.
  • Enjoy while warm!

 

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