Saturday, April 18, 2015

Albanian Tea Cookies

Ahhhh, April vacation.  Suffice it to say I have never needed it more in my career than this year.  Once we enjoy this lovely week off, we are down to 30something more days until summer break.  The end is in sight!

But for now, let's rewind back a few weeks to a Cookie Sunday where I decided to whip out my mother-in-law's Albanian Cookbook (yes, that's the title).  I flipped through the dessert section and came upon a recipe for tea cookies.  They're so pretty with their little awareness ribbon shape, sprinkled with sesame seeds.

I decided to give them  try, even though for some weird reason I was out of all-purpose-flour and had to use whole wheat.  This obviously led to a denser, drier cookie, but then again, they're tea cookies.  They're supposed to be hard and crunchy and dunked into coffee or tea to soften!

Unfortunately when I brought a bunch up to Gram's, my relatives weren't super keen on them.  I think they may have been expecting sugar cookies or something.  With only half a cup of sugar, these are not overly sweet, but they are pretty and dainty and have that lovely sesame taste.  Trust me when I say that the tea cookie name is no joke; you want to take these for a swim in your coffee and tea.  Dare I say they could be acceptable breakfast fare?


Albanian tea cookies
from Albanian Cookbook by the Woman's Guild of St. Mary's Albanian Orthodox Church in Worcester, MA, 1977

3 to 4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons baking powder
4 eggs (reserve 1 yolk)
1 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
sesame seeds


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add slightly beaten eggs, milk, baking powder, and vanilla.  Add flour until right consistency is attained.

2) Take a small amount of dough, roll out pencil thin, 8 inches long.  Make a U with the dough then flop one end over the other and twist once.  Alternately, make a figure 8.

3) Brush with slightly beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Place on cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

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