The best books for a man are not always those which the wise recommend, but often those which meet the peculiar wants, the natural thirst of his mind, and therefore awaken interest and rivet thought.
William Ellery Channing
When was the last time you lost yourself in a book? Picked it up and got sucked up into the story and could not put it down? When was the last time you read a book and each time you take your eyes off it to look at the time you find that a couple of hours have gone by? I’ll stop at 12, six hours of sleep should be enough. You look up, its one thirty! Ok ok, I am in trouble already so I might as well finish the chapter. You finally get to bed and its 2.30 in the morning, a voice on your head whispers how on earth am I going to get up in four hours and drive to work? but it is quickly drowned out by recap of the book and highlights you’re reliving in your imagination. You fall asleep with a smile.
A good book is one of life’s greatest joys. A book that makes you lose track of time and better yet, leaves you thinking long after you turn the last page.
I was writing this post yesterday and decided to take a break. I install the kindle app on my phone and think it would be a good idea to read a couple of pages of the hunger games book my best friend sent me,you know, get the feel of the story and the next thing I know it is 2.30 and I HAVE to put it down for worrying I would be too sleepy to drive the next morning!
I will not go into the book today, that is another post for another day but I would love to hear your answer for the question: what is your favorite book? and when was the last time you were so into a story that you simply could not put it down? at the pace I am going I will be through the three books in the series in no time, any suggestions on what I should read next?
The best way to enjoy a good book is to curl up with a cup of tea, a few cookies and dive in. Barazek are cookies topped with a thick layer of sesame that is mixed with honey or simple syrup on one side while the other is dotted with pistachios. They are nutty and addictive. You bite into the sesame layer and feel the little sesame seeds crackle and pop then comes the cookie core, buttery and sweet and you finish with the nutty and pleasant taste of the rosy green pistachios.
If you want your barazek cookies to be crunchy, make them thin. The thinner they are the more crisp and crunchy they turn out to be after baking but you will need to reduce the baking time as they will bake faster when they ate thinner. I like them a little on the chewy side so I made my barazek cookies a little thick. Either way they are the perfect combination of texture, color and flavor. Bake these barazek cookies and I promise you will not be disappointed.
Honey pistachio sesame cookies “barazek”
Makes 30 cookies
1 cup (200 g) butter softened
1 and 1/4 cups confectionary sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons vinegar
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup pistachio roughly chopped
1 cup sesame seeds
3 tablespoons honey or simple syrup (see notes)
Cream the butter with the sugar until the mix becomes light in color
Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until completely incorporated
Add the vanilla and vinegar and beat
Whisk the flour with the baking powder and add it gradually with the salt to the mix and beat untill just incorporated
Do not over mix
Cover the dough and leave it in the fridge to rest for an hour up to overnight
To roll and bake the barazek cookies
Mix the sesame and honey and place it in a plate
place the chopped pistachio in a plate
Line your baking sheet with parchment
Place your oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 180 C
Start by rolling pieces of the dough into walnut size balls
Press the dough ball into the pistachio, flatten it a little
Flip the cookie dough and press it into the sesame honey mix (If you like extra sesame topping, use a spoon to top the cookie with more sesame honey mix and press it into the dough to make sure it sticks)
Arrange the cookies on your baking sheet 2 cm apart
bake for 15-20 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown
Turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes
Take out of the oven and allow to cook on the tray for 5 minutes them transfer to a wire rack and cook completely
Store in an air tight container
If you find it hard to get the sesame topping to stick to the cookies, you can take a spoonful of the sesame honey topping and press it gently to the top of the cookies instead of pressing the cookies into the sesame
You can make these cookies crunchy by making them thin, the thinner they are the more crisp and crunchy they turn out to be after baking but you will need to reduce the baking time as they will bake faster when they ate thinner. I like them a little on the chewy side so I made mine a little thick
By simple syrup I mean the syrup you make by boiling 2 cups of sugar with 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. You can flavor it with rosewater , cinnamon, orange peel or leave it plain
Abeer, one of the most talented cake decoraters, sweetest and most creative bloggers I know asked me to take part in an event she is preparing for Christmas. She asked a few of her favorite bloggers (it is an honor being in that category) to take part in her christmas extravaganza. She asked for a traditional recipe or a new twist on a favorite one and I decided to make these hone sesame cookies for her. Please stop by her blog and check out all the amazing and creative recipes everyone brought
1. Chocolate cranberry skillet cake from Sandra at Sandra’s Easy Cooking
2. Pistachio and cardamom semifreddo with rose cream from Manu at Manu’s Menu
4. Chocolate cookies with candied fruit slices from Kate at Diethood
6. Poppy seed roll (Makowiec) from Raven at Ravienomnoms
7. Stollen from Roxana at Roxana’s Home Baking
8. Cocoa mint shortbread from Tiffany at Comowater
9. Rose syrup chocolate bark from Abeer at Cake whiz