who said cookies have to be sweet?
Every time I make these cookies i think about my mother. My childhood memories are vividly brought up right in front of my eyes, a hint of smile on my face as I think how my mother made these special cookies, only a couple of times a year, as a special get together on high holidays. We would start the big meal with these spicy delicious caraway cookies and a cup of sweet fresh mint tea…we would talk…laugh…then the big meal begins. These rare but delicious treats will always stay special to me as my mother wasn’t a big baker, she cooked more than baked and sweets rarely mentioned in our household, yet she would surprise us with her Moroccan specialties she learned from her mother…a special lady I never had a chance to know.
Now trying my baking specialties I am still struggling to keep the dough together but not always succeeding at the task. The dough is soft and falls apart in your mouth, almost to a melting point and taste so delicious. The recipe is simple and contain only few ingredients but the trick is to keep the dough together while shaping it into little balls. I’m still working on improving my handling skills but I’m not intimidated and am still creating these treats. They go well with a nice cup of mint tea or your favorite cup of coffee.
The caraway seeds have a sharp flavor, almost like parsley…well it is from the parsley family, and are a beautiful savory addition to this simple dough, which i intentionally reduced the amount of sugar in it and let the seeds blend with the oil and be the star.
2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. superfine sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp toasted caraway seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
tap water, as needed
kosher salt, pinch
Let’s toast the caraway seeds in a small non-stick pan first. Just for a few minutes, you don’t want to burn them. Set a side.
In a large bowl combine the sifted flour, create a well in the center, pour the oil and add the rest of the ingredients including the caraway seeds. Gently knead the dough for a few minutes while adding tap water as needed and only if need. Mix until combined and you get a nice soft dough. Don’t over work the dough. Form one big ball, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°. In the meantime, lightly grease baking sheet. Gently create small balls from the dough pressing gently to flatten them. If you get cracks while pressing, like I do sometimes, that’s o.k but if you don’t like when that happens, like me, just leave them in the form of balls. They look very cute this way and unique. Lay cookies on the sheet and bake between 20-25 minutes, until the top is light golden brown **
** I bake them 5-6 minutes longer as i like the top to turn a little darker and slightly crusty. Your personal preference.
Serve warm or at room temperature with your favorite hot drink. For kids, it’s heaven with a cup of cold milk. So o.k. adults will like it too.