|Zadigi Kahke (Easter Cookies)|
Here is the corrected version of the Zadigi Kahke recipe. Below it you’ll find my notes and final evaluation.
Zadigi Kahke (from the cookbook “Armenian Cuisine”)Yield: About 50 cookies
6 cups flour, sifted
2 cups farina, sifted
1 cup butter, melted
½ cup sunflower oil
½ cup vegetable shortening, melted
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup lukewarm milk
1 tsp. ground mahlab
1 ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. dry granular yeast (1 packet)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp. ground cloves
A dash of salt
2 Tbsp. milk
Garnish:1 Tbsp. raw sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. black cumin
Directions:1. Using a stand mixer, blend one fourth of the flour and farina with all of the other cookie ingredients. Mix until well-combined.
2. Gradually add the rest of the flour and farina. Knead the dough with your hands until it is smooth.3. Divide the dough into several balls and place them in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then with a clean towel. Let dough rise for 2 hours.
4. Roll balls of dough into fine sausage-shapes that can be formed into twists, rings or braids.5. Place shaped dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush with egg glaze made by mixing together one egg and 2 Tbsp. milk. Sprinkle tops with either sesame seeds or black cumin.
6. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until cookies are golden, about 15 minutes or so.
Robyn’s Notes:1. I almost followed the recipe exactly. Since I couldn’t find sunflower oil, I used safflower oil, a baking and cooking oil, instead. (Barbara felt it would work just fine, and it did.)
2. My dough did not rise at all. I’m not sure if that was because the yeast was stirred directly into the other ingredients rather than adding it to lukewarm liquid first.3. The dough was greasy to the touch, so I had to knead a bit more flour into it.
4. After shaping some of the dough into ring shapes, I gave up. Instead, I took a ball of dough and pat it down on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, I rolled the dough into about a ¼ inch thick rectangular shape, then used a fluted roller to cut the dough into stick-shapes. I followed the baking direction from the recipe.
5. Since the original recipe did not mention how long to bake the cookies, I had to keep an eye on them. At 350°F, it took the cookies about 15 to 20 minutes to reach a nice, rich, golden color.
The Armenian Kitchen’s Evaluation: These are pretty darn good! I don’t know if my cookies turned out the way Aline’s do, but we like them – a lot! I also don’t know what the texture should be. The ring-shaped cookies came out softer; the stick-shaped ones, crispier, and I’m a fan of crispy.If any of you decide to try this recipe, I’d love hear how yours turned out!