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Sekerpare; Tender and Moist Turkish Semolina Cookies in Syrup

Sekerpare; tender and moist Turkish semolina cookies in syrup

Sekerpare; tender and moist Turkish semolina cookies in syrup

Sekerpare is a much loved Turkish dessert, made in Turkish homes and a huge favorite of my dear brother-in-law, Mehmet. You can also find Sekerpare in bakeries and patisseries, pastane as we call it, all around in Turkey. Semolina based national favorite Sekerpare would always appear at my mother’s tea time spread, during celebrations with family and friends, as well as at religious festivities as when marking the end of Ramadan.

Sekerpare means “a piece of sweet” in Old Turkish and I love the crumbly, lighter texture semolina brings to Sekerpare, it simply melts in your mouth. My version is a little lighter and less sweet, fragrant with lemon juice and lemon zest.

Make sure to leave enough space between each sekerpare on the baking tray, as they expand during baking.

Make sure to leave enough space between each sekerpare on the baking tray, as they expand during baking.

A few tips for a successful Sekerpare: 1) Make sure to leave enough space between each sekerpare on the baking tray, as they expand during baking. 2) First make the syrup, as it needs to cool down. Pour the cooled syrup over hot Sekerpare and let the Sekerpare cookies absorb the syrup as they cool. Once all the syrup absorbed, Sekerpare will be soft and tender enough to eat with a fork.

Pour the cooled syrup over hot Sekerpare and let the Sekerpare cookies absorb the syrup as they cool.

Pour the cooled syrup over hot Sekerpare and let the Sekerpare cookies absorb the syrup as they cool.

We enjoy Sekerpare with Turkish coffee, Turkish tea, cay for a tea time treat or as a dessert after meal. I hope you can have a go at this delicious and easy to make treat.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Adapted from Adventures in Turkish Cooking, Anatolia Cookery Book

5.0 from 2 reviews
Sekerpare; Tender and Moist Turkish Semolina Cookies in Syrup
 
Sekerpare is a much loved Turkish dessert, made in Turkish homes. Sekerpare means “a piece of sweet” in Old Turkish and I love the crumbly, lighter texture semolina brings to Sekerpare, it simply melts in your mouth. My version is a little lighter and less sweet, fragrant with lemon juice and lemon zest. We enjoy Sekerpare with Turkish coffee, Turkish tea, cay for a tea time treat or as a dessert after meal; hope you can give it a go and enjoy too.
Author:
Recipe type: Semolina based Turkish Desserts
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 20 pieces
Ingredients
  • Zest of 1 small lemon
  • 115 gr/ 4 oz. / ½ cup sugar
  • 125 gr/ 4 ½ oz. unsalted butter
  • 300 gr/ 10 ½ oz. /2 cups plain (all – purpose flour)
  • 95 gr / 3 ¼ oz. / ½ cup fine grained semolina
  • 2 eggs
  • 15 ml/ 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. light olive oil (and a little extra to grease the baking tray)
  • 20 blanched almonds or hazelnuts
  • Small bowl of cold water (to help shape the sekerpare cookies)
  • For the syrup:
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 345 gr/ 12 oz. /1 ½ cup sugar
  • 480 ml/ 16 fl. oz. / 2 cups water
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F/ Gas mark 4
  2. First make the syrup. Grate the lemon zest into a bowl and set aside for the dough.
  3. Squeeze the lemon juice into a cup.
  4. Combine the 345 gr/ 12 oz. /1 ½ cup sugar and 480 ml/ 16 fl. oz. / 2 cups water in a heavy sauce pan over the medium heat and bring to the boil. Stir and let the sugar dissolve.
  5. Add the lemon juice, reduce the heat and simmer for a further 15 minutes for the syrup to thicken slightly. Turn the heat off and set the syrup aside to cool.
  6. Now, let’s make the dough. Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat (or cut in small chunks and melt in microwave for 30 – 40 seconds, mixing half way).
  7. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the semolina. Make a well in the middle and pour in the butter. Stir in the 2 eggs, 115 gr/ 4 oz./ ½ cup sugar, lemon zest, 2 tbsp. light olive oil and the baking powder.
  8. Knead for 5 minutes, until you achieve a soft, moist dough. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside to rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Have a small bowl of cold water nearby. Knead the dough again for 5 minutes. Then wet your hands lightly with cold water and divide the dough and shape into twenty ping pong sized balls.
  10. Grease a baking tray with a little of light olive oil (about 1 tbsp.) and place the sekerpare dough balls side by side, making sure you leave extra space between them to expand. Gently press down on top of each ball to flatten slightly.
  11. Push an almond or hazelnut in the center of each sekerpare ball.
  12. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes, until they start to turn light brown.
  13. Remove the sekerpare from the oven and pour cooled syrup over hot sekerpare cookies. Leave to cool and let the sekerpare cookies absorb the syrup for 15 minutes; they will get soft and tender.
  14. Serve cooled sekerpare with Turkish tea or coffee. You can keep sekerpare cookies covered in a container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
Notes
A few tips for a successful Sekerpare: 1) Make sure to leave enough space between each sekerpare on the baking tray, as they expand during baking. 2) First make the syrup, as it needs to cool down. Pour the cooled syrup over hot Sekerpare and let the Sekerpare cookies absorb the syrup as they cool. Once all the syrup absorbed, Sekerpare will be soft and tender enough to eat with a fork.

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14 Responses to Sekerpare; Tender and Moist Turkish Semolina Cookies in Syrup

  1. BacktoBodrum July 13, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

    I’m not very confident cooking with semolina , this would be a good start.

    • Ozlem Warren July 13, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

      Thanks BB, worth a go. I think you will enjoy working with semolina, love its taste and texture. Revani is another delicious semolina based cake, again very easy, if you’d like to give it a go. Cok selamlar, Ozlem

  2. seniordogsabroad July 14, 2015 at 4:03 am #

    Özlem’ciğim, I love these cookies, too, so thanks for a recipe for a favorite of ours. We don’t make too many sweets at home, so also, thanks for a version that is less sweet. This recipe is just in time for şeker bayramı! Ailene selamlar ve sevgilerimizi göderiyoruz. xoxo J

    • Ozlem Warren July 14, 2015 at 9:03 am #

      Merhaba sevgili Jolee, cok tesekkurler notun icin. Sweets are a rare treat with us too, and this one hits to spot in that special category, hope you enjoy it – indeed on time, Seker Bayraminiz kutlu olsun, sevgilerimizle : ) Ozlem xoxox

  3. Alan July 14, 2015 at 4:58 am #

    love these without the syrup!

    • Ozlem Warren July 14, 2015 at 9:01 am #

      Merhaba Alan, must try without syrup too 🙂 There’s minimal amount of sugar in the cookie dough so it may need adjustment in that case, selamlar, Ozlem

  4. Phil in the Kitchen July 14, 2015 at 9:12 pm #

    These sound delightful. Just perfect with some coffee on a summer night I’d say.

    • Ozlem Warren July 15, 2015 at 8:43 pm #

      Many thanks Phil, they are lovely with coffee and tea : )

  5. Peri's Spice Ladle July 14, 2015 at 10:49 pm #

    Lovely cookies, I like the use of semolina flour in cookies. Yours remind me of a slightly similar one from western India called ‘Sakhar Pare.’ Sure to be a big hit around here:) xxPeri.

    • Ozlem Warren July 15, 2015 at 8:43 pm #

      Hi dear Peri, here’s another connection between our cuisines, would love to see your version : ) I used grain semolina here, not the flour; it gives a lovely crumbly texture and taste, hope you enjoy it, Ozlem xx

  6. Dolors December 14, 2015 at 9:35 pm #

    I baked your cookies!! They are superb!!

    I was so impatience to give it a try that I didn’t realise that I run out of semolina. I had to find a quick solution so I used emmer wheat (farro) instead. And I used a mandarine for the lemon (I wanted them a bit Christmas). The result was so surpring!!! Actually you could almost call them cakes 🙂 They are so moist!! We loved them!

    If you are interested in seeying my (your) cookies, you can follow this link:http://bruixesalacuina.blogspot.ch/2015/12/sekerpare-galetes-turques-de-pisana-al.html

    And thanks a lot for sharing your wonderful culanary tradition.

    Regards

    • Ozlem Warren December 15, 2015 at 10:42 am #

      Dear Dolors, many thanks for your kind note – I just checked out your recipe and your cookies looked delicious! Loved your recreation with emmer farro, will look out for that . And wonderful to use mandarine for a festive touch : ) So glad you enjoyed them, thank you for your note.

  7. Bob April 3, 2016 at 10:23 am #

    I experienced these in Pakistan working with a Turkish engineering team. Their chef prepared them but used a Maraschino Cherry in place of the nut. Incredible flavor and texture, we never could get enough of them.
    Have you ever used fruit instead of nuts or heard of using a Maraschino Cherry with these cookies?

    THX

    • Ozlem Warren April 3, 2016 at 4:28 pm #

      Merhaba Bob, thank you for your comment; I haven’t experimented using the Maraschino cherry in these cookies but I know they are delicious, thank you for letting me know, I look forward to trying sometime. My best wishes, Ozlem

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