SEKER PARE Turkish Semolina Cookies Steeped in Syrup

Şekerpare is made in nearly every Turkish household, sold in every bakery and sweet shop and appears on nearly every Turkish restaurant menu. It is one of the most popular Turkish sweets after baklava. These sweet, sticky and tender cookies are made from semolina, flour and powdered sugar that are baked golden brown and left to steep in sweet, lemony syrup. The more syrup they soak up, the better. They should be tender enough to cut and eat with a fork. Blending the ingredients and kneading the dough slowly by hand is the key to making the perfect, uniform şekerpare dough that won’t crack or separate as it bakes. Each ‘pare’ or piece, should keep its perfect shape, even after soaking in syrup. Sekerpare is generally served with a glass of newly brewed Turkish tea, but you can have it with coffee too.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • Dough:
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • A pinch of salt
  • 250 g butter
  • 3,5 -4 cups flour
  • ½ cup semolina
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • 1 baking powder
  • 1 vanilla powder

 

  • Syrup:

 

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ lemon juice
  • Garnish:

 

  • 25-30 almonds/hazelnuts/peanuts or pistachio powder.

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS

 

 

  1. Start with syrup. Mix water and sugar and cook it until it boils.
  2. Add lemon juice and boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Let it reach room temperature.

 

  1. Preheat oven at 175C.

 

  1. Mix powdered sugar, egg and salt until smooth.

 

  1. Add softened butter and continue mixing.

 

  1. Add yogurt, flour, semolina, baking powder and vanilla powder and mix with your hand until combined well.

 

  1. You will have a soft and nonsticky dough. You can add a little extra flour or yogurt if needed.

 

 

  1. With your hands, pinch off a piece of dough and roll it into a ball about the size of a walnut. Place it on an ungreased metal oven tray. Continue making even-sized balls and lining them up side by side, leaving some space in between.Gently press down on the top of each ball to flatten it slightly. Press a hazelnut into the center of each (If you want to garnish them with hazelnut or almond, put them on top of cookies before baked.)

 

  1. Cook them about 30 minutes until golden.

 

  1. Take cookies from oven and pour the cooled syrup evenly over the top, using a spoon for uniform distribution. Let the tray cool down to room temperature, at least 4 hours. As they cool, the cookies will absorb the syrup and get soft.

 

 

When the şekerpare is cooled down, they are ready to serve. Serve two or three on a decorative plate and garnish them with a spoonful of Turkish clotted cream, called “kaymak” if you wish.