Barazek are the most delicious cookies with a buttery crunchy texture and a serious sesame flavor! When you bite into them, they absolutely melt in your mouth and will leave you wanting more!
These delicious sweets have a beautiful deep golden color with a sesame seed mixture on one side and crushed pistachios on the other.
The cookies themselves are made using flour and ghee (clarified butter) which make them rich, yet light and delicious!
If you’ve had Barazek before, then trust me this recipe will give you the best Barazek you’ve ever had! And if you’ve never had Barazek before, you’re in for an incredible treat!
This recipe is about to become your new favorite, I know it!
Interested to learn how to make these? Then keep on reading!
What is Barazek?
Barazek is a famous Syrian specialty cookie that is made with flour and clarified butter (ghee) and then coated on one side with delicious sesame seeds that are coated in honey and sugar and chopped pistachios on the other.
These cookies melt in your mouth like no other. They are lightly crispy but delicately thin and absolutely incredible when it comes to the flavor.
The honey sesame seeds take the cookies to a whole new level. That with some delicious pistachios on the other side makes these ones of the best cookies ever!
When you bite into the sesame seeds, you can feel the sesame seeds crackle and then pop after which you bite into the delicious cookie layer that’s followed by the pistachios.
It’s truly a treat to enjoy these cookies. And the best part is that despite seeming like they’re difficult to make, these cookies are incredibly easy to whip up!
These cookies are, by far, one of the most delicious things you’ll ever try. You’ll try one and then won’t be able to stop eating. Yes, they’re that good!
Where Did Barazek Originate From?
Barazek is said to have originated during the Ottoman rule in the city of Damascus which is the capital of Syria. In Damascus, it came from the Midan area in particular.
Although this cookie originated from Syria, it can be found throughout the Levant region, i.e., Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Syria. And that’s not the only place it’s popular! You’ll find these cookies all over the Middle East and other Mediterranean countries!
In fact, it’s considered to be a traditional Palestinian dessert and it’s readily available in stalls selling it on the street of Jerusalem.
These cookies are also possible in Homs and Aleppo, which is a city located in the northwest of Syria. That area is known for its production of tasty pistachios!
The tastiest barazek is traditionally found at renowned Syrian bakeries, especially in Damascus. To enhance shelf life, they are sold pre-packaged in tin boxes.
For many Arab nations, especially Syria, these cookies are synonymous with community spirit.
These cookies are made to be shared with friends, family, and neighbors during special events and gatherings, and they are a vital part of local culture and customs.
What Makes This Recipe So Special?
This recipe is going to give you the best Barazek cookies you’ve ever had but in the simplest way possible!
These egg free biscuits turn out perfect every time with this recipe and you don’t even need to go through the hassle of using active dry yeast! In fact, there is no yeast at all in this recipe!
With just 7 ingredients from start to finish, you’ll have the tastiest Barazek you’ve ever come across!
This recipe also doesn’t call for any special ingredients that you might not be able to come across. For example, Barazek usually includes ground mahleb, which is a spice made from ground cherry stones.
Understandably so, this spice is not easy to come across if you live outside the Middle East and for this reason, my recipe gives you the perfect flavor of Barazek without needing to use this special spice!
Yep, you’re still going to get all the authentic flavor by making the best Barazek from scratch but without any additional hassle!
What You Need to Make Barazek at Home
Making Barazek at home requires the simplest of ingredients that you’ll be able to easily get your hands on! Excited to learn what you need to make these delicious cookies at home? Let’s see what the ingredients are:
For the Cookies:
All-purpose flour: All we need is plain ol’ all-purpose flour for this recipe that you can easily find in your local grocery store, or you probably have it in your pantry already!
Ghee: This is an incredibly important ingredient for this recipe, and I won’t suggest substituting it with unsalted butter. If you don’t have ghee at hand or can’t find it, I have the perfect ghee recipe for you to make it at home!
Sugar: We’ll be using sugar to lightly sweeten the cookies. Use fine sugar.
Water: Water will be mixed in so in a way you end up getting a simple syrup mixture when the water mixes with the sugar, but without making it ahead of time.
Honey: We’ll also be using honey, in combination with sugar, to sweeten the cookies and give them that authentic flavor.
For Coating Cookies
Sesame seeds: You’ll need toasted sesame seeds to coat the Barazek cookies. If you just have regular sesame seeds, you can toast them yourself in a dry skillet. I have full instructions on just how to do that in the notes section down below!
Sugar: We’ll use some fine sugar in the coating as well to sweeten the cookies lightly and to give them that perfect flavor.
Honey: Honey will help not only sweeten the cookies but also make the sesame seed mixture come together.
Pistachios: We’ll need some chopped pistachios to coat the Barazek cookies on the other side. In case you are allergic to pistachios, you can substitute it for some other nuts, otherwise, I highly suggest you go for them!
How to Make Barazek Step by Step
Making Barazek at home might seem tricky, but it’s probably one of the easiest cookies you’ll ever end up making! Here’s how to make Barazek at home step by step:
How to Prepare the Barazek Dough
Let’s start by preparing the Barazek dough. Take a large bowl and to it add the flour and ghee.
Next, take a small bowl and mix the sugar with water and honey in it. Mix this honey syrup mixture well.
Now after the 30 to 35 minutes are over, take out the dough from the fridge and pour the honey syrup mixture over it.
Don’t knead the dough but work on gathering the dough together until it absorbs the liquid. The dough will feel like it won’t come together but it will.
You will get a soft, smooth dough that will not stick much to your hand as shown in the video. Kneading the dough will make the Barazek tough and so it’s good to go for a tender dough.
Next, cover the Barazek dough and refrigerate again for 30 to 40 minutes.
How to Barazek Coating
Time to make the coating for the cookies! Start by mixing the sesame seeds with honey and sugar. Keep mixing for a minute the mixture will feel heavy and sticky.
Now sprinkle the water and mix for a few seconds and the mixture will turn light, now it is ready to coat the Barazek. Spread the sesame on a wide, shallow plate.
Add the crushed pistachios onto another shallow plate and set it aside as well.
How to Make Barazek Cookies
Now let’s make the Barazek cookies! Start by forming a small ball. Place the ball on the pistachios and press lightly to make some of the pistachios stick to the bottom of the ball.
Next, remove the ball from the crushed pistachio plate, flip the ball and place it over the sesame seed mixture.
Press down the ball with your fingers or the palm of your hands to flatten it forming a flat disc. This will also make the sesame seed mixture stick to the cookie properly and give it more surface area to stick to it.
Next, place the cookies sesame side up on a large baking sheet that’s been lined with parchment paper. Make sure to keep an inch space between each cookie.
Now bake the cookies in a preheated oven of 338 F (170C) for 15 to 18 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies is light brown.
Leave the cookies on the baking sheet for two minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
You’ll have beautiful golden brown Barazek cookies that are better than ones you’d buy at a sweet shop!
How to Store Barazek
Have some leftover Barazek cookies? You can easily store them in an airtight container for up to 3 to 4 days on the kitchen counter or in a cool place.
Alternatively, if you want to freeze the Barazek cookies, you can do that by popping them in the freezer for up to 2 months!
Tips for Making the Most Perfect Barazek Ever
- I don’t recommend replacing ghee with butter for this recipe as you will not have similar results. This is because butter has a small amount of water that will evaporate while baking and this will change the texture and flavor of the Barazek.
- Avoid kneading the dough after adding the sugar and water mixture as this can make the cookies tough and not like the light, crispy cookies Barazek is meant to be.
- Barazek are not thick cookies, so make sure to flatten the cookies when pressing them against the sesame seed coating. This is what will give you the crunchy texture when you bite into them once they’ve baked.
- To toast raw sesame, place the raw sesame seeds in a hot pan or skillet. There’s no need to add oil or butter. Keep stirring with a spatula until it turns golden to light brown. Careful, since sesame seeds burn quickly. Remove immediately from heat because it will keep on cooking, and transfer to a cool plate to stop the cooking process.
Other Arabian Cookies
Maamoul Cookies: Middle Eastern cookies filled with dates and pistachio. These cookies melt in your mouth, and the dough has a minimal amount of sugar since the sweetness is coming from the flavorful fillings.
Kahk: They’re round, buttery cookies that have the most delicious melt-in-the-mouth texture ever! The incredibly fine, and light texture of these cookies is incredible and will have you wanting more!
Ghraybeh: A Middle Eastern Cookie. These cookies melt in your mouth, with fine texture, delicate, and delicious. With only three ingredients, Ghraybeh is the easiest, egg-free cookie that will impress your family and guests.
- 2 cup + 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoon ghee at room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon honey
TO COAT THE BARAZEK
- ¾ cup toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¾ cup crushed pistachios
- 2 teaspoon water
PREPARING THE BARAZEK DOUGH
- In a bowl, add the flour and ghee, mix both ingredients with your hands or a hand mixer for 7 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 30 to 35 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix the sugar with water and honey, mix well. Take out the dough from the fridge and pour the sugar mixture over it.
- Do not knead the dough but work on gathering the dough together until it absorbs the liquid. The dough will feel like it won’t come together but it will. You will get a soft dough that will not stick much to your hand as shown in the video. Kneading the dough will make the barazek tough.
- Cover the dough and refrigerate again for 30 to 40 minutes.
COATING THE BARAZEK
- Mix the sesame seeds with honey and sugar. Keep mixing for a minute the mixture will feel heavy and sticky. Add the water and mix for a few seconds and the mixture will turn light, now it is ready to coat the barazek. Spread the sesame on a wide plate.
- Add the crushed pistachios on a plat.
MAKING THE BARAZEK
- Form a small ball, place the ball on the pistachios and press lightly to make some of the pistachios stick to the bottom of the ball.
- Remove the ball from the crushed pistachio plate, flip the ball and place it over the sesame mixture. Press down the ball to flatten it forming a thin disc, this will also make the sesame stick to the cookie.
- Place the cookies sesame side up on a lined baking sheet, keeping an inch between each cookie. The cookies won't spread but just to be on the safe side it's best to leave an inch between each cookie.
- Bake the cookies in a preheated oven of 170C – 338F for 15 to 18 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies is light brown.
- Keep the cookies in the baking sheet for two minutes then transfer on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Do not replace ghee with butter, you will not have similar results, since butter has a small amount of water that will evaporate while baking, and this will change the texture and flavor of the barazek.
- Avoid kneading the dough after adding the sugar and water mixture.
- Barazek are not thick cookies, so make sure to flatten the cookies when pressing them against the sesame coating.
- To toast raw sesame, place the raw sesame seeds to a hot pan, no need to add oil or butter. Keep stirring with a spatula until it turns golden light brown. Careful, since sesame seeds burn quickly. Remove immediately from heat because it will keep on
- cooking, pour on a cool plate to stop the cooking process.