Sunday, October 26, 2008

counterparts — sweet roskitas (ka'ak)

the following sweet little rounds, roskitas dulses [or just biskotchos] as i know them, are a common sight in many sefardi homes, served at many an occasion or kept in a cookie tin just to have on hand for everyday eating. also known as sweet ka'ak or bracelets (in arabic), they are commonly found in middle eastern countries. they are also the counterpart to their savoury version which is also very popular.

while terribly easy to make, this recipe takes a little planning in terms of timing and you NEED to read through the whole recipe before starting. i also say that because you have to decide which flavouring you want (to see if you have the ingredients on hand!). these roskitas are very commonly made with anise which is a favoured taste by many people.

the dough for these particular cookies is different from standard cookie doughs in that it needs a full (8 to 10 hour) chilling in order to be workable and will seem a little strange at first in that it will feel a little loose compared to a regular dough. no worries, it works perfectly :) just follow the instructions below and you'll have great cookies. also, don't overcrowd them as they expand while they bake.

happy baking!

roskitas dulses (sweet ka'ak)
sweet sesame rings

makes approx 24 cookies


wet —

2 eggs
1/2 c sugar
1 pkg vanilla sugar (2 - 3 tsp)

1/2 c oil (light olive or vegetable)

dry —

2 c flour (AP)
1/8 tsp salt, heaped
2 1/2 tsp cornstarch ("maizena")
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

flavourings —

2 - 3 tsp mazaher (orange flower water) or raki*
1/2 tsp vanilla extract IF you didn't add vanilla sugar

*if using raki, add 1 1/2 - 2 tsp anise (seeds) & omit vanilla

3 - 4 tbsp medium coarsely chopped pistachio nuts (green part only) - optional - this was added if they were made with orange flower water & not anise.

coating —

~ 1/2 c sesame seeds (you can also add 1/4 c coarse crystal sugar)


in one bowl, mix the dry ingredients together and set aside.

in another medium sized bowl, mix the eggs & regular and vanilla sugar together. it is best to do this with a electric beater.

add the oil and beat again for a minute or two. it will take on a consistency of lemon pudding.

now add the flour in two or three portions and mix it until it is like a thick paste.

put it (covered) in the fridge overnight or in the early morning and make the cookies in the evening. you cannot skip this step or speed it up. remember: it won't look like a regular cookie dough you are used to seeing.

the next day or later that evening:

preheat oven to 325 F.

take 1/2 c sesame seeds and put them on a plate.

take 1 level tablespoon of dough and roll it out into a "finger" about 4 inches long. put the ends together (they will fuse when they bake) but make sure they are closed (i.e. sticking together). now dip one side into the sesame seeds and place it on your baking tray. i always use parchment paper.

make sure to leave space in between because they will expand!! the best way to do this is measure out 12 pieces and put the other half of the dough back in the fridge. also, if you oil your hands, it is easier but i never do it. as long as the dough is cold, it works well.

bake the cookies for only 18 to 20 minutes. they should only be very lightly browned. remove them and bake the next batch.

now put the oven to its lowest temperature (~ 150F) and bake them for another 20 minutes.

remove from the oven and let cool completely. they should be "duro" (crisp) - but light and crunchy!! these store well for several weeks in a tightly covered cookie jar or in a ziploc.



Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

So pretty! I'll eat anything with sesame seeds!

Cheers and have a wonderful week,


sarah said...

Humm, ils sont magnifiques et ont l'air délicieux,
Avec un peu de fromage c'est encore meilleur :D

Comme on dit en Turquie "eline saglik"


pepsakoy said...

It has really got my attention ! And guess's already in my oven right the time you see my message, not sure how much it's got left !! he he he

sarita said...

great instructions, as usual. i'll make them soon but i won't need to store them, you know they will fly away soon :) thanks so much for your posts,always an inspiration.

~~louise~~ said...

When I first saw these cookies they reminded me of the "S" cookies my grandmother once made. I think I have had these before but I just can't remember when and where. I'll save the recipe just in case I get ambitious someday and begin baking. Thanks for sharing bb.

burekaboy — said...

rosa - me, too :) hope you have an enjoyable week also.

sarah - çok teşekkür ederim; j'ai pensé à toi quand je les ai preparé :) je me souvenais, il y un mois ou deux, que tu cherchais qlqchose comme ça comme recette. j'espère que c'est à peu près de la même chose que tu voulais ;p j'ai aussi l'autre version (kandil simidi) si tu veux. ecris-moi et je te l'envoie.

pepsakoy - you crazy girl, you made them already?! LOL. i hope you liked them and they came out well. let me know! :D they may be a bit plain for your taste - these are 'everyday' cookies, if you know what i mean. nothing fancy.

sarita - i KNOW you won't have m/any left after you make them!! mas importante es que almenos con éstes biscochos no tiene que freírlos! besos for your comentarios sympaticos, chiquita ;)

~~louise~~ - you're very welcome. come to think of it, yes, they do sort of look like those (baked) S cookies. haven't thought of those in a long time! from your blog, i would have imagined you baking your brains out! LOL :))

pepsakoy said...

I love trying on something new ( both eating and making ) and I like the cookie !.. the taste or smell is somewhat like tahinli ( maybe cuz of both pistachio and orange flower water!)

And I'm not a big fan of cookie but this one is different ( honestly, I don't feel like it is anyway..:) ..not too sweet or buttery !

I will post a topic about it on my blog later and show some pictures as usual..please have a look if you have a chance , I would be grateful for that !


Anonymous said...

Can I say I love you? my Savta used to make these for me. I am so excited!!!

Yaelian said...

Lovely recipe again and makes me want to bake these:) Thanks for visiting my new blog, I will have to put there a translating tool so that you will also be able to read my entries..;)

Anonymous said...

Hi BB, Looks like you have been a busy baker! These treats look very tempting for tea time, I will have to try your recipe soon.

sarah said...

ça fait longtemps que nous, enfin surtout ma mère :), sommes en quête d'une bonne recette de Kandil Simidi, je suis preneuse de ta recette,


Anonymous said...


Have you tried adding a teaspoon of tahina to the dough? I recommend it.

Kandil simidi has an additional ingredient called mahlep.

Afiyet olsun. :-)

Mar said...

In Spain "rosquillas" or "rosquillos" are a very common and traditional sweet recipe. They can be baked in the oven or fried in olive oil and they also includes anise (seeds or spirits)and many saints of the calendar have their own recipe to celebrate the daytime party.

burekaboy — said...

apologies all for the grand delay in replying....

koy - they came out perfectly! glad you decided to give them a try & liked them. you can make them plain also, just use vanilla or put lemon or orange zest.

cheryl - thanks for your comment and visit. glad the posting was able to bring back good memories of you and your savta!

jamila! - thanks. hope you're keeping well and still chasing after those children, LOL. these cookies were always a standard kind we had at home. hope you like :)

sarah - je l'ai pour toi. ecris-moi et je te l'envoie par couriel.

esther hadassah - thanks for the visit and comment. no, i've never used tahina in the dough — it sounds like a good idea :) i'll try to remember next time i bake these. my link for the other version of these (savoury) has mahlep in the recipe. thanks for the info. i use it often in baking.

mar - muchisimas gracias por tu comentario. estoy seguro que esta receta es una version (judia) de las rosquillas clasicas de espana, pero horneadas y no fritas. hay muchas recetas sefardies de rosquillas y rosquillos; ellas son mas o menos identicas. los nuestros son preparados con aceite de oliva normalmente.

Anonymous said...

J'ai préparé aujourd'hui vos rosquitas, elles sont délicieuses! Merci pour les explications détaillées. Votre blog est génial!

burekaboy — said...

elena - merci pour votre commentaire génial et pour revenir à me dire comment s'est allé avec la recette. je suis content que vous avez aimé ces biscuits et que vous avez eu du grand succès avec eux.

Ajonjoli said...

hi bureka boy,
I just discover your blog and I am really surprised because most of your "sefardí" recipes are very familiar to me, since my family comes from Granada. Most of your recipes resemble my mothers dishes :)
I didn´t know the link between both cuisines (andaluza and sefardí) was still so strong....
Very interesting, I'll link your blog, if you don´t mind.