Kahk

Traditional Egyptian cookies known as kahk are eaten during Eid. They can be cooked plain or with a variety of fillings, and they feature a circular shape and a buttery crumb.

Don’t forget to generously coat the cookies with powdered sugar!

Origin of Kahk

Kahk is believed to date back to Ancient Egypt, where carvings of people making it have been found in the ruins of ancient temples in Memphis and Thebes.

A recipe was also found in the Great Pyramid of Khufu in Giza. In ancient Egypt, these cookies would be molded into different ornamental and geometrical forms.

The tradition of making this recipe continued over the years and also became a part of Islamic history.

In the Toulunid dynasty, the bakers would make it into packets called kul wishkur (“eat and say thank you”).

Following that, it became prominent among the Ikhshidits, and soon became one of the signature recipes associated with Eid-ul-fitr, the celebration that happens right after the month of Ramadan.

During this Islamic period, the markings on kahk were replaced with geometric designs, sayings, and stylized foliage designs.

The popularity of these cookies is such that the making and baking of it is a traditional social activity.

Women from particular town or area would come together to produce it, with each individual given specific chore to complete.
There have been instances where it was prepared at home and then transported to a communal bakery to bake and chill.
With kahk molds being passed down through the family from generation to generation, the designs stamped on it would also have particular meanings and stories linked with them.

Kahk Recipe

Kahk can have so many different fillings or can be left plain.  The markings on top are usually used to indicate the filling of the cookies.

The most popular filling by far is the Agameya.  It’s a cooked mixture of ghee, honey, sesame seeds and optional nuts; most often walnuts.  It’s sweet and gooey and irresistible.

It can also be stuffed with Turkish delight (malban), sticky sweet date paste (agwa) or plain nuts like walnuts and pistachios.

There is also a special seasoning added to this cookie called kahk seasoning. It is a special blend of powdered spices that is added to the cookies to give them their distinctive flavor.

It is also known as kahk essence or reehet el kahk and is available at Egyptian stores.

The seasoning differs from family to family, but some of the common ingredients in kahk seasoning are ground mahlab, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and fennel.

If you are able to find this special seasoning, do try it out. Otherwise substitute with your favourite dessert spice or spice blend.

FAQs

How Can I Tell if the Kahk Dough is Ready?

Roll the dough into a ball, and indent it with your finger. If the indentation remains without any cracks in the dough around it, consider your dough ready to go.

How Do I Know Kahk is ready?

Ready Kahk should be pale gold in colour, with a medium brown coloured bottom. To confirm, you can cut a biscuit in half and see if it has been cooked through fully.
If you find that the dough is still a bit wet at the center, bake the Kahk for two more minutes.

Serving Suggestions

  • It can be served as stand-alone snacks or desserts. Traditionally, they are sent as gifts to friends and family.
  • It goes well with a morning or evening cup of tea or coffee.
  • You can try it alongside a glass of Shay Bel Laban or milk tea.

Storage Instruction

The storage instructions change depending on whether you’ve used water or milk in the cookie dough.

If you have used water in the dough, allow the cookies to cool and place them in an airtight container. It can stay on the kitchen counter for up to 1 week.

Kahk made using water can also be stored in the fridge for up to one month.

On the other hand, if you have used milk instead of water in the dough, then instead of leaving it outside on the kitchen counter, you can store it in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Both these types can be frozen in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Be Sure to Try These Other Egyptian Dishes!

Be sure to recreate this incredible dessert. Enjoy!

Kahk El Eid Recipe (Egyptian Eid Cookies)

Radwa
Kahk El Eid is an Egyptian Eid Cookies that are usually served in Eid-el Fitr. They are so soft and melt in your mouth, more like not too sweet sugar cookies.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Egyptian
Servings 40 cookies
Calories 232 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 kg all-purpose flour
  • 600 g ghee melted
  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon kahk essence
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
  • cup milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 160C/ 320F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, sesame seeds, salt, instant yeast and kahk essence until combined (you can use a stand mixer or electric hand mixture).
  • Now, add the ghee and mix for 2-3 minutes until well blended and the dough turns crumbly.
  • Add in the milk and vanilla extract; mix (do not over mix).
  • Scoop out a tablespoon of the dough and roll it in a ball, then place it on a baking sheet; repeat making balls (leave space between each one).
  • Now, decorate your kahk, press gently into a Maamoul mould or use a kahk stamper.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes until the bottom is golden brown. Allow them to cool completely, then dust with powdered sugar.

Notes

  1. Ensure that your toasted sesame seeds are not too dark. This can lead to the sesame seeds having an overwhelming flavour which will ruin the flavour of the Kahk.
  2. If you are looking to fill and decorate your Kahk, place the balls of dough in the fridge for around half an hour to make working with them easier.
  3. Avoid heating up the ghee as people usually would. This causes trouble with digestion and heartburn issues for a lot of people.
  4. You can top the Kahk with pistachio or almonds if you like.
  5. Even though the Kahk has already been garnished with powdered sugar, dip it in some more sugar just before serving it.
  6. If you don't want to use ghee, you can use clarified butter instead.
Some Variations:
You may try adding fillings to the Kahk, such as:
  • Agameya filling – Stir some honey into the mixture of the dough. Once it has been mixed well, add chopped walnuts and mix them in.
  • Agwa filling – Add dates chopped into cubes to the dough fixture.
  • Mokasarat – Chop your favourite nuts into small pieces and add them to the Kahk dough.
  • Turkish Delight – A traditional Turkish candy made with starch and sugar that comes in a variety of flavours.
These are just a few of the fillings you can try out.

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Blessing Funmilayo Ogunsanya
Hello, my name is Funmilayo, and i love to write about food, beauty, fashion and wellness. So welcome to my Food world! I share histories, discoveries, uniqueness, tips, and tricks on different dishes .Come let's take this adventure together. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do and hope to see you back here again soon.

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