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Aug 12, 2007 02:46 PM

Ethnic cookies?

I'm looking for ideas or recipes for ethnic cookies...I have no particular ethnic groups I'm most interested in, and I am very flexible on the definition of cookies... so far I've made rugalech, alfajores, pasteis de nata... and am looking to continue this project.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. How about korambiethes, Greek cookies. I love them, actually I love all Greek desserts. & here
    Melomakarona; Honey & spice Chirstmas cookies...
    I'm going to make these so thanks!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Rory

      That's a different spelling. My mom's best friend growing up was Greek so she had them at Christmas but when she gave me the recipe she called them kourabiedes.

      Here's another nice Greek cookie she said Maria's mom made. They're still my sister's favorite.

      Sesame Seed Cookies

      5 1/2 c. flour
      1 tbsp. baking powder
      1 c. margarine
      1 c. sugar
      4 eggs
      1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
      1 tbsp. water
      Sesame seed

      Cream oleo, sugar, 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks (reserve whites) and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add flour and baking powder.
      Shape a heaping teaspoon of dough into a 6” rope; fold in half and twist together. Beat reserved egg whites with water. Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheet, brush with egg white mixture, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes, until cookies are firm.

      1. re: revsharkie

        I use almost the same recipe except mine calls for lard. And they are delicious!!

    2. I made korambiethes and they are delicious and powdered sugar is great. My godmother brought me some barazeh; delicious honey and sesame flaky cookie. She learned to make them on a trip to the Holy Land. They freeze great and are so good. So easy to make; hers were a very light golden colour. Here is a link below.

      11 Replies
      1. re: itryalot

        I love baraze! My recipe is a little different though (I can write the whole thing up when I get home, if anyone wants it). I include mahleb in the dough, and before baking, I brush the dough circles with a honey/water mixture, then dip into a combination of sesame seeds and crushed pistachios. They're a very unique tasting cookie.

        1. re: pamalamb

          I wonder about mahleb. Is it the crushed whole pit, or the little almondy piece inside the pit, crushed? Thanks.

          1. re: Louise

            It's just the kernel. The store I buy it from, though, grinds it for me, since it's pretty hard. It's one of my favorite spices.

          2. re: pamalamb

            Pamalamb, if you're still reading, would you mind posting your recipe for Baraze? I'm going to make these next week... also if anyone can tell me how to pronounce it, that would be great :)

            I'll post back with results.

            1. re: Adrienne

              I've been pronouncing it bar-ah-ZEE, but I have no idea if that's right. I'll post the recipe when I get home tonight.

              1. re: Adrienne

                3 cups flour
                1 cup sugar
                1 Tbsp mahleb
                2 Tbsp baking powder
                1 cup butter, clarified
                1/4 cup lukewarm water

                5 Tbsp honey
                3 Tbsp water
                sesame seeds
                pistachios, crushed

                Combine flour, sugar, mahleb, baking powder, butter and 1/4 cup water. Knead until dough is fairly firm. Shape into walnut size balls and flatten each into a disk.

                Combine honey and water to form a syrup (warm water helps); you don't need to be exact on the ratio, either. In a shallow and wide dish, combine sesame seeds and crushed pistachios (you can vary amounts, but I go about half and half). Brush each disk with the syrup, then dip the syrup-side into the seeds/nuts. Arrange on a lightly greased baking sheet about 1 inch apart.

                Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes until golden.

                1. re: pamalamb

                  Ok, so I tried something between your version and the other version that was posted, and the result was very tasty sugar cookies with a total nonsequitor of sesame seeds on one side. What am I doing wrong?

                  1. re: Adrienne

                    In my recipe, about 75% of the flavor comes from the mahleb... so if you're leaving that out, I can see that it's lacking flavor. But then, I'm not sure exactly how traditional my version is.

                  2. re: pamalamb

                    wow, I am so excited to see a recipie that includes mahleb! I only put it in my choreg so I am excited to try this recipie! thanks

                    1. re: geminigirl

                      Would you mind sharing your choreg recipe? My mother never put mahleb in hers, but I prefer mahleb, so I have no good recipe.

                      1. re: pamalamb

                        is your mom's recipie a good dough? if so I would use that and just add some ground mahleb, I think I usually use abt 2-3 tsp but I'm not good at measuring. If anything I err on the side of too much because I don't think it is an overpowering flavor, and since mahleb is very hard for me to find, it usually ends up sitting in my fridge/freezer for quite a while so i'm sure the flavor has dulled a bit. let me know if you still want the recipie.

                        btw, do you use mahleb in anything else? I just added it to a batch of dinner rolls I recently made and i thought it was really nice, my husband didn't care for it but I have to ask an armenian for another opinion, anyway I frooze them so more for me! I love choreg but it is a labor intensive process, now that I realized I can add then to any bread I make (duh) i'm so excited!

            2. Mun cookies (poppyseed cookies) and mandel brot (aka mandel bread - the Jewish equivalent of almond biscotti). Recipes for both here:


              The mun cookies I know are rolled out and cut, though the picture of this variation does look good too. If you're interested I can dig up my grandmother's mun-cookie recipe.

                1. What about Fattigmands Bakkelser? My Norwegian grandmother used to make these at Christmastime, and we all loved them! I tried making them once at the request of my brother one Christmas - and I will never, ever, EVER make them again. :-) Kudos to my Grandmother for knowing just when the oil was hot enough to fry and when to take them out of the oil so they didn't burn. :-)

                  I don't have Grandmother's recipe handy, but this looks very similar:

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    Wow... that sounds both delicious and unique... can you give me any clue on how to pronounce it?

                    1. re: Adrienne

                      Grandmother always pronounced them "FAH-ty-mahns" - the "g" is silent. I believe "Fattigmand" is Norwegian for "Fat Man". The other word (which she rarely used when she was talking about these cookies) is pronounced "BAH-kel-ser".

                      Here's a picture of how they're supposed to look:


                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Actually "Fattigmann" means "Poor Man" (but I don't know why they are called that...)

                        1. re: sue zookie

                          Oops! You're right Sue. Not sure where I got the notion of "Fat Man". Did a quick Google, and found this blog from earlier this year. It looks like this woman had the same decision as me after making them once - never again! LOL