It’s November and the weather has finally started to cool down in South Florida. It plunged down to 70 degrees F for a high today; tonight’s temperature will be in the mid 50’s. Go ahead laugh; for us it’s pretty darn chilly!
Tourists and seasonal residents have finally started to return, which means the holidays are right around the corner, and the arrival of out-of-town guests is inevitable.

For me it means it’s time to start baking again. So I’ll start off with a simple recipe for Simit – a cross between a cookie and a chorag. Whatever you call it, simit is a favorite  when folks drop in unexpectedly for a visit.  Since Simit freezes well, they can be made in advance and can be ready to serve in a jiffy.

Serve with coffee or tea, fresh seasonal fruit or an assortment of dried fruit and cheeses.

Yield: approximately 3 dozen, depending on size


1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup milk
4 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
dash of salt
2 sticks butter

Variation: To give simit a unique taste, add 2 tsp.
finely ground mahlab**, fennel seed, and anise seed and ½ tsp. ground ginger in
step #2 when you combine the flour, baking powder and salt.

(** Mahlab is the dried “heart” of the cherry pit. It can
be purchased in most Middle Eastern stores. If you can’t find it, you can omit
it; the taste will be slightly different, but still delicious.)

1 beaten egg
toasted sesame seeds

1. In a saucepan, gently heat the milk and sugar until milk is warm and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. If using the spices listed in the variation, add here. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or a fork, until the mixture looks crumbly. Stir in the heated milk – sugar mixture; mix to form a dough.
3. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface until knead until it becomes smooth.
4. Divide the dough into several balls, then roll each ball into a long rope about ½ inch thick.
5. Cut each rope into about 6-inch pieces. Create an “S” shape, or leave straight.
6. Place pieces on ungreased baking sheets. Brush each piece with beaten egg, then sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
7. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are lightly golden brown.
8. Cool on wire racks; store in an airtight container.

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  1. Unknown November 15, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Your Simit look wonderful. Mom used to make these too. (I always say used to because her arthritis makes her unable to anymore). Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  2. Robyn November 15, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Thanks! and they were so easy to make, too!

  3. Anonymous December 29, 2010 at 5:25 am

    It's called "khalkha"

  4. Anonymous January 5, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Does khalkha means by any chance "ring"?
    perhaps the shape supposed to look like a bagel and sesame topped on it?

  5. Greta April 25, 2011 at 4:16 am

    my grandmother makes this kind of simit but instead of rolling ropes, she just rolls the whole thing out flat and cuts it with a pizza cutter into strips, it makes them more crunchy and its easier and quicker for her

  6. Robyn April 25, 2011 at 4:18 am

    What a great idea! I'll have to try that next time…Thanks for the tip.

  7. Anonymous December 7, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    my mom made them and twisted them into open bottomed figure 8's…. two twists tho…. yum! i need to check her recipe to see if its the same as yours… the children always loved these..


  8. Anonymous July 17, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Khalka was the name given to this treat in Everek-Feneseh (Kayseri)… the home of basterma. They were little sticks that weren't round like the "simit" pretzels sold on the streets of Bolis. Ours were crumbly and hard.

    1. Unknown January 25, 2016 at 4:12 am

      Oh my! Yes – Evereg 🙂 That's where my grandparents were born and they did call it khalkha!

    2. Unknown January 25, 2016 at 4:27 am

      Oh my! Yes – Evereg 🙂 That's where my grandparents were born and they did call it khalkha!


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