Kaa’k el Eid or Easter biscuits are usually made along with the maa’moul the traditional Easter pastry (see recipe in desserts) to give something special to children as well as to involve them in the Easter preparations. It’s a basic recipe, once the dough is done, it would be great fun for children to shape it into rings as I will explain later.
As children, we loved them, now I realise that it is their light texture blended with simple spices that made us and other children favour them.
In this recipe, I used the traditional spices, however, you can make your own variation, for instance, you could substitute mahlab for aniseeds or nutmeg instead of cinnamon.
Makes about 18 (depending on the length and thickness of the rings)
- 250 g/ 9 oz flour
- ¼ tsp ground miskeh (see glossary)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp aniseed (alternatively ½ tsp ground mahlab)
- 100 ml / 3½ fl oz milk
- 100 g/ 4 oz caster sugar
- 110 g/ 4¼ oz softened butter
- ½ tsp easy blend yeast
- 1 egg yolk added to 2 tbsp milk for glazing
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
- Put the milk into a small saucepan, tip in the sugar and warm through to dissolve the sugar. Keep on one side.
- Mix the flour, spices and yeast in a bowl or food processor, add the softened butter and rub with either your fingers or the beater until well combined.
- Add the sweetened milk to the flour mixture and knead with your hands or the dough hook for a couple of minutes, until you have a smooth paste. Cover with a cling film and let it rest for 2 hours.
- Next, pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/ 400ºF. Line one or two baking sheets with baking parchment paper.
- Divide the dough into equal walnut size pieces. Now, take one piece, roll it into a strip about 1.25 cm/ ½ inch thick and 10cm/ 4 inches long, bring both ends together to achieve a circle shape, pressing one end on top of the other. Transfer gently onto the baking sheet, do likewise with the rest. Once, you have finished, brush the biscuits with the egg wash, sprinkle, if using, with the sesame seeds and pop them into the preheated oven. Bake until they are a light golden colour, roughly 10 to 12 minutes. Let them cool slightly before transferring them onto a wire rack.
- If you are not serving the biscuits immediately, you can store them in an airtight container for up to a week.