Last February, Debbie Boyadjian wrote to The ArmenianKitchen.com looking for a recipe for St. Sarkis Halva. After an exhaustive search, I was able to fulfill her request.
St. Sarkis Day is one of those "moveable" celebrations on the Armenian Church calendar - this year falling on Saturday, February 19th.
Last year, Armand Sahakian, owner of Nory Locum in California, sent me an article explaining the story of St. Sarkis. It appeared in The Armenian Reporter, Feb. 7, 2009, pg. 17, and was written by Betty Panossian-Ter Sarkissian. I didn't get to post it then, so I've been saving it all year to share with you now. The tale of the "salty cookies" might very well be the Armenian version of Valentine's Day!
In the meantime, Armand was kind enough to send his mother's St. Sarkis Halva recipe and photo of the final product to share with all of us.
Thank you, Armand and Zee, for all of your hard work!
PS: Don't forget to order your Nory Locum delights - a perfect treat, any time!
|Mrs. Sahakian's St. Sarkis Halva|
Zarmine “Zee” Sahakian's Sourp Sarkis Halva recipe
3 C White granulated sugar
4 T Water
1 T Lemon juice
1 T Flower-water (orange blossom)
1 - 7oz Jar of marshmallow creme
2 lb Sesame seeds divided 1/3 and 2/3 (refrigerated)
Filling: walnuts or pistachios as needed.
Prepare a sheet pan with a mound of 2/3 of the sesame seeds
Bring first four ingredients to a boil until the mixture turns to a golden color.
Mix in marshmallow, remove from heat and pour onto sesame seeds.
Spread the mixture adding more of the cool sesame seeds as needed to keep from adhering to hands or spatula.
Invert the complete sheet of sesame covered mixture onto a flat work surface.
Moving quickly to prevent the sheet from getting hard, add filling (walnuts, pistachios, etc…) and roll. Cut 1.5 inches apart and refrigerate.
PPS: I received an anonymous tip: Adding a hint of ginger will elevate the halva to another level.