Cardamom & Rose Ka’ak ~ aromatic yeast leavened cookies.
These cookies were a surprisingly wonderful addition to our EID Al Adha table last week along with the regular Makrout. I made the cookies the day before Eid, adapting Linda’s Algerian Ka’ak recipe which uses the traditional flavours of fennel and anise seeds. I chose the middle eastern and desi flavours cardamom and rose.
I wasn’t too confident about my baking experiment on instagram but as soon as I’d tasted one of the cookies I was beaming and couldn’t wait to share the recipe here.
The dominant flavour is cardamom with just that subtle hint of rose coming from the ground-up rose petals in the dough and a drop of rose-water in the egg glaze. If you want to make this a more equal match up of flavours or don’t have /can’t find any dried rose petals then replace a tablespoon or two of the milk in the cookie dough with rose-water instead.
Lemon zest is also used to flavour the Ka’ak, it enhances the citrus notes of the cardamom.
Ka’ak are leavened by both baking powder and yeast which gives them an unusual texture for a cookie, more bread like. It’s funny, I describe them as a cookie that are more like bread but then the name Ka’ak كعك, also transliterated kaak or Kahqa is the Arabic word for “cake”….confused?!
You know what goes great with Cardamom and Rose Ka’ak? milky coffee.
aromatic cardamom and rose, yeast leavened cookies
- 500g of plain flour
- 2 eggs
- 125g granulated white sugar
- 100ml sunflower oil
- 11g of dry instant yeast
- 8g of baking powder
- 1 tablespoon of dry rose petals, ground
- 1 tablespoon of green cardamom pods, seeds only and ground
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 50 ml of warm milk*
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon rose water
- Sesame seeds
- In a bowl or a stand mixer fitted with dough hook, add the flour, the yeast, the baking powder and the sugar and start to mix.
- Add the eggs, one at a time and continue to mix.
- Pour the sunflower oil and continue to mix.
- Add the lemon zest the ground rose and cardamom and mix again.
- Pour slowly the milk and knead until you obtain a dough.
- Divide dough into 12 equal pieces, about 75 grams each. With your hands roll each piece of dough into a 15 cm log then join the two ends together to form a circle.
- Flour a baking sheet and add your Ka’ak on the top.
- Cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave to rise for 1 hour.
- 20 minutes before the rise time is finished preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C / Gas Mark 4.
- Once the Ka’ak have rise, with a knife or scissors cut the outer edges of each crown be careful don’t cut too close to the centre/hole.
- Brush the Ka’ak with 1 egg yolk mixed with rose water and sprinkle each Ka’ak with a few sesame seeds.
- Bake on the middle shelf for 30 minutes or until the Ka’ak are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes on the tray(s) before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
* You may need more milk depending on your climate etc All timings are approximate – prep time includes inactive rising time.