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Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Request for Zadig Kahke

I know it's New Year's Eve and 2012 is just moments away, but it's never too early to start preparing for Easter. A while ago, I received a request for Zadig Kahke (Easter Cookies) from Hermine Kabbendjian.

Hermine wrote:
 “Hello Robyn,
I come from Beirut and have been looking for Zadig Kahke that we used to make while I was a little girl.  I helped shaped the dough to many forms, shapes and designs.  They were heaven and I still smell them.  They were different than the ordinary ones as we made these for  Easter ( Zadig) only and shared them with all.
I hope you know what I mean and please let me know if you have this recipe.  They were a bit on the softer side and heavenly! I would really  appreciate it.”
I asked Hermine for more information to help along with the search, and she responded:
“It was a sweet dough.  Not cookie like. It was more like choreg but a bit different! It had yeast, we did brush it with egg wash as the top was golden brown and we even took the kahkes to special bakers during Zadig for a wonderful bake.  I am certain it had milk, yeast and may be some eggs! I cannot quite remember the eggs!  My mom and grandmother kneaded the dough and even let it rise overnight and we started real early next morning for an all day affair of making them, taking them to the baker. Brothers would carry them back and forth and we would sneak one or two in our pockets to eat them secretly as we were not allowed to eat them before they got blessed or after we had gone to Easter service.  This was that special!  We rolled some in smaller pieces and some in shapes closer to open face like lahmajoun - a bit smaller size- with many different designs on top and made lace edges like apple pie edges.....They were close to 1/2 inch thick when open faced!”

Hermine continued: “I am certain some Armenian family from Beirut will remember this too as we did go from house to house and helped relatives and neighbors shape the dough, drink coffee (not the children), tell stories, remember people and how one liked someone's kahke's better than others but were polite enough to taste them.  I have absolutely no family left to ask!  We scheduled kahke- making and it was the most wonderful time for us all children too!  We took some to school and we shared them and our friends in school would give us theirs but  my grandma’s was the best!  She believed because they were blessed! Robyn, I really appreciate all that you are doing!”
I sent Hermine a butter kahke recipe from Rose Baboian's "Armenian -American Cookbook", but just by reading it, she could tell it wasn’t exactly right.

So with her permission, I’m asking readers for help in finding a Zadig Kahke recipe. If this strikes a chord with any of you, please email your recipe suggestions to robyn@thearmeniankitchen.com .

Thanks, and Happy New Year!

4 comments:

  1. There's a recipe for Zadgva katah in Arto der Haroutunian's Middle Eastern Cookery at p. 331. The dough is yeast, 8 oz. of tepid milk, 2 oz. sugar, 4 oz. melted butter, 14 oz. flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt. There's an optional filling of 2 tablespoons raisins, 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, 1 tablespoon each of brown and white sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, 1 oz. melted butter.

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  2. Dear Anonymous,
    Thank you for your suggestion. I don't have the cookbook you mention, so would you be able to email me the recipe? If so, please send it to: robyn@thearmeniankitchen.com. Thank you!

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  3. http://www.csc.villanova.edu/~jantzen/drbob/recipes/ltlrings.htm

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    1. Nice to hear from you, Bob, and thanks for your recipe link!

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