When I posted Hermine Kabbenjian’s request for Zadig Kahke in January, I included – with permission from authors Aline Kamakian and Barbara Drieskens – the recipe from their cookbook, ‘Armenian Cuisine’.
|Zadigi Kahke (Easter Cookies)
I hadn’t made the cookies at that point, but decided now (Holy Week) was the time to try. Before I did, however, I emailed Barbara because I had a few questions about two of the ingredients (it’s great that their email addresses are in the cookbook!). I’m so glad I wrote, because Barbara informed me that there was an error in the printed recipe – the cookbook said to use 2 and 2/3 cups flour, when in fact, it should be 6 cups of flour. With this correction, and my questions answered, I got busy in the kitchen.
Here is the corrected version of the Zadigi Kahke recipe. Below it you’ll find my notes and final evaluation.
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
1 Tbsp. raw sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. black cumin
1. Using a stand mixer, blend one fourth of the flour and farina with all of the other cookie ingredients. Mix until well-combined.
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.
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.
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.)
3. The dough was greasy to the touch, so I had to knead a bit more flour into it.
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.
If any of you decide to try this recipe, I’d love hear how yours turned out!