If you love soft and chewy cookies (that stay soft and chewy for days), and like it when your house is filled with a cloud of warm enchanting spices then this post is for you.
As promised on Thursday, this is the second recipe in my series using Palestinian ingredients. Our ingredient in the spotlight today is grape molasses.
Simply put, grape molasses (also known as debs enab in Arabic, petimezi in Greece or pekmez in Turkey) is an ancient sweetener made by reducing grape juice, especially in the fall when the grapes are at their sweetest. Nothing else is added, no sugar, no colors, simply grape juice. It is one of the oldest forms of sweeteners in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions known long before refined sugar. Grape molasses is prized for its high iron and potassium content (it was used to help people with anemia in the past) in addition to being a great source of energy due to its sugar content. It is a staple in the kitchen throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean where it is usually served by mums to their families for breakfast – a generous swirl of the sweet syrup into a pool of tahini – to keep kids warm and energized throughout the day.
Grape molasses can be used to sweeten cookies, cakes, and bread. It can be made into a refreshing drink; it can also be used to flavor puddings.You can use it as a replacement for maple syrup on top of your pancakes. On the savory end of the spectrum, you can use it as a glaze for meat or in salad dressings. The possibilities are endless.So if you see a bottle of grape molasses in your middle eastern market, do pick it up, I just know that you’ll love it.
Inspired by the traditional tahini-debs combo, I decided to recreate one of my favorite cookies (molasses spice cookies) but with a fun -and addictive- twist: A sandwich cookie with a tahini debs filling. I will tell you beforehand that this filling is dangerous! I made the filling before the cookies and my kids were like: let’s skip the cookies altogether and eat this by the spoonful!
You have been warned!
Molasses spice cookies
Soft, chewy and beautifully infused with spices. The only thing that can make these cookies more heavenly is the creamy tahini molasses filling
Credit: Sawsan Abu Farha @Chef in disguise
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1/4 cup grape molasses
Creamy tahini molasses filling
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons grape molasses
- 2 tablespoons wholewheat flour
- 6 tablespoons (1/3 cup) sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees C
- . Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the egg, then stir in the orange juice and molasses.
- Gradually stir the sifted dry ingredients into the molasses mixture.
- Wrap the dough in cling film then refrigerate it for 30 to 40 minutes
- Take the dough out of the fridge and Shape dough into walnut sized balls
- Place the cookie balls 5 cm apart onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
- Use the bottom of a cup to flatten the cookie dough balls slightly.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container.
To make the filling
- Mix all the ingredients (You can use a whisk to get them to be homogenous)
- Place the mix in a pot over medium-low heat
- Cook while stirring until the mix thickens 5-7 minutes
- Allow the mix to cool completely
To make sandwich cookies
- Take one teaspoon of the filling and place it on the flat side of one cookie
- Place another cookie (Flat side down ) on the filling and press them together
Disclaimer: This post was created in collaboration with the Polish Aid program. They provided the products but the opinions and recipes in this post are completely my own.
The project supporting certification of “Mawasem” products is financed by the Polish Aid program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland”