In an effort to fulfill Hermine Kabbendjian’s request for Zadig Kahke, I turned my search over to one of my brand new cookbooks, ‘Armenian Cuisine ‘ by Aline Kamakian and Barbara Drieskens. In it I found a really delicious-sounding recipe called Zadigi Kahke. I emailed the recipe to Hermine, who said it sounded great, but her family didn’t use farina in their version. I’ll keep on searching for that perfect recipe for Hermine, but in the meantime, Aline’s recipe sounded so, yummy, I contacted her to see if she’d allow me to post it for you. Her co-author, Barbara wrote back giving me full permission to share Aline’s mother’s Zadigi Kahke with all of you.
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 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.
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.