Nerrt's Kaak

>> Friday, August 20, 2010

Here is a delicious Arabic cookie recipe that u won't be able to stop eating. This recipe makes a lot, but the best thing is that you can store the cooked cookies in a ziplock bag and put them in the freezer. This is Nerrt's recipe that was handed down to her from her Mom. Can't wait to try it to see if it tastes like my mom's.


½ lb or 250g of Crisco
½ lb or 250g of Unsalted Butter or Margarine
5.5lbs or 3kg of flour (approx)
1 Liter of Milk divided (750ml + 150ml)
2 packs of yeast (or about 2-3 tsp)
½ - 1 cup water
1 kg sugar + 1 Tbsp
2 packs vanilla sugar (3 tsp)
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp Kaak Spice (You can get this along with Mahlab at any middle eastern grocery store)
1 Tbsp Mahlab

Dough Directions

  • In a small bowl, place 1 Tbsp sugar, 2 envelopes of yeast, 1-2 cups of flour, and ½ to 1 cup of water. This will allow the yeast to rise quickly. If you want the dough to sit overnight, you can just add the packs of yeast to the flour mixture (Step 6). 
  • In a large pot, melt Crisco and butter under medium – low heat.
  •  Add approx. 750ml of the milk 
  • Add sugar and heat until melted. Remove from stove and cool.
  • Add the remaining 250ml of the milk to help quickly cool the butter/sugar mixture.
  • While you melt the butter mixture, In a large bowl (and I mean a really large bowl), add ½ of the flour (1.5kg), vanilla, baking powder, and kaak spices.
  • Slowly add hot butter mixture to dry ingredients. Add yeast mixture.
  • Mix and knead , adding more flour slowly until you achieve proper consistency. Not too dry or too moist. Similar consistency to pizza dough. You can do this in your Kitchen Aid mixture if you are making a smaller quantity. I do it by hand as I make a big quantity to freeze.
  • Once dough has been kneaded properly and the right consistency has been reached, take a bit of vegetable oil and rub the bottom of the bowl and around the dough to prevent mixture from sticking.
  • Cover dough with plastic and towels to keep moist and warm.
  • Leave dough to rise for minimum of 2-3 hours in a warm place until it doubles. You can also leave it overnight. 
Making the Kaak
  • Preheat oven to at least 400 F or 200 C 
  • Divide the dough into small individual portions. About 3 inch circles. Let them rest on a flour covered surface. Cover the divided portions with plastic wrap as you complete dividing the rest of the dough (you don't want them to dry out).
  • Oil your wooden" kaak maker" (don't know what it's called, or u can use any platter that has an indented design in it) with vegetable oil so the dough won't stick. Start with the first divided portions of dough. 
  • Using your fingers, flatten the dough in a circular fashion to maintain its round shape, while trying to obtain the design embedded on the wooden kaak maker. Do not press to hard as it will cause the dough to stick. 
  • Remove the shaped dough and place on a greased cookie sheet or flat pizza pan.
  • Place baking pan in oven. Bake until the bottom and top are golden brown. Depending on your oven (specifically if you have a gas oven), you may have to bake the bottom first, and then the top. It usually doesn't take more than 10 minutes per pan to bake. Monitor them so you don't burn the kaak.
  • Remove from pan and allow kaak to cool. Some people like to dip the kaak in a sugar/milk/butter mixture to give it a shine and a bit of a crunch, but I like mine soft and chewy. Serve immediately, refrigerate or freeze.


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