Sesame Tea Biscuits


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Sesame Tea Biscuits:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1  1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
flour for kneading dough
oil for cookie sheets

Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl, Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla to the sugar-butter and mix well until fluffy. Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time to the egg-butter mixture. Mix well after each addition.

Place the dough on a floured surface and knead until smooth. Take small amounts of dough (about 1 Tbs) and shape into little loaves. Dip each cookie loaf into the milk and then roll in sesame seeds until well coated. Place on oiled cookie sheet and bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until browned. Remove from the tray and allow to cool.

Carrot Sweets or Halwa Jizar


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I was looking for this recipe for many years, and after asking many people from different parts of Iraq, I fond one that my husband likes so much, he eats the whole plate. I have tasted this one time and loved it. My husband on the other hand, has tasted all of it…..and then it is gone. I am for sure not complaining, I use him to taste everything I am cooking. Either way, I never knew that carrots could be done this way, I did know about carrot cake, but this is more like a carrot pudding, or a carrot custard so to say. It is amazing. It really is, and it goes wonderful with tea or chai…which ever you like to call it. Enjoy the recipe and pictures and at least try it once!! You will not regret it.

2 lbs of carrots shredded
2 cups of sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 c butter
1/2 cornstarch
1 to 2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp rosewater

garnish with toasted walnuts or pistachios and or coconut

first thing you will put the carrots in a medium pot with just enough water to cover them, about 3 1/2 to 4 cups. Bring them to a boil and then turn it down to simmer for about 30 mins. Drain them when done, into a colander fitted into a bowl as to not lose the water from the carrots. Set it aside.

then using the carrot water you will make it into a syrup by dissolving the sugar into 2 cups of the reserved liquid. if you need more add more liquid.

while that is cooking, in a heavy bottom sauce pan melt the butter on medium heat and stir on the cornstarch until it starts to change color so about 10 mins. Fold in the drained carrots and mix very well.

Pour the syrup mix into the carrots mixture and keep it cooking on medium. Make sure you are stirring occasionally until the mixture is thickened and the carrots become somewhat transparent, or about 30 minutes. Add the rosewater and cardamom.

Spread it into a large dish and garnish and cut into wedges or squares. ENJOY!!!

Banana Pistachio Cake-Kekat al-Mouz wal Fistiq


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This is a new recipe I tried out from a wonderful cookbook given to me by an amazing friend.
This cake has 3 layers with a cream filling, bananas and pistachios in each layer.

For the cake:

1/2 c oil

1 1/2 c granulated sugar

3 eggs 1 c mashed bananas or about 3 medium bananas

2 tsp rosewater

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 c all purpose white flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 c milk or buttermilk

1/2 c chopped toasted nuts

for filling:

1 c chilled whipping cream

2 tbsp powdered sugar

1 tsp rosewater

thin slices of bananas

Icing:

1/2 c packed brown sugar

1/4 c whipping cream

3 tbsp butter

1/2 c powdered sugar

1 tsp rosewater

Garnish with banana slices and ground pistachios

to make the cake itself, mix oil, sugar, and eggs for 2 mins. Add the mashed bananas, rose water, and vanilla. Mix well.  Then Mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Do not over beat the mixture just make sure it is mixed well enough to be combined. Fold in nuts if used.

Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans, make sure to evenly divide the batter between the two. Put into a preheated 375F oven for about 30 mins or until toothpick comes out clean. Completely cool.

The filling is made by having a bowl already chilled and whipping the cream in it until it holds soft peaks, or can somewhat stand on it’s own.  Add sugar and rosewater and whip it together until stiff peaks form. You may want to use cool whip instead and if so just add the rosewater to it.

Cakes should be totally cooled and you want to slice them in 1/2 horizontally so you have 4 layers….spreading the filling on each layer with banana slices placed neatly. stack your layers.

The Icing is made by using a small sauce pan and combining sugar, cream and butter and bring mixture to a boil while stirring and making sure the sugar dissolves, then boil for about 2 more minutes. Let it cool to room temp and add powdered sugar and rosewater stirring until it is smooth. Immediately spread on the surface of the cake allowing it to drip down the sides of the cake. Sprinkle pistachios on top and decorate as you’d like. Enjoy!!!!!