For my variation on the classic icun cookie from Somalia I used cinnamon instead of cardamom. I felt a bit sorry about leaving out the cardamom from the original recipe because I really like the spicy citrus-like flavor. My love for cardamom is shared by Somali cookie bakers. When I was researching recipes for cookies and desserts from Somalia, I came across the fragrant spice in almost every recipe. You could easily add ½ teaspoon cardamom to this recipe – I think I might next time! I made little ropes out of the dough and rolled the ends towards each other to form pretty coils. The sesame seeds in this cookie not only make the dough a bit lighter than the original, they also give it an extra nutty flavor and a subtle crunch.
Cinnamon sesame cookie
for ± 25 cookies
200 grams (2 sticks) butter
or use 125 grams (⅔ cup + 1 tbs ghee)
100 grams (scant cup) icing sugar
280 grams (2 cups) flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbs sesame seeds
Melt the butter over low heat. Leave to bubble gently for about 5 min. or until most solids have sunk to the bottom.
Place a paper towel in a sieve and pour the melted butter in. Cool the strained ghee and leave to firm up in the fridge.
Beat the ghee for 1 min. with a electric mixer and add the powdered sugar. Beat ± 4 min. until very light and creamy.
Add the flour, cinnamon, 1½ tbs sesame seeds and a pinch of salt and quickly knead into a ball.
Leave to rest in the fridge for about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Roll 20 cm / 8 inch long ropes of ± 20 grams of dough and roll both ends to the middle.
Sprinkle with the rest of the sesame seeds and bake the cinnamon sesame cookies in the middle of the oven for ± 15 mins. They should not brown much, but stay light.
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