My tin with chakchak cookies from Kazakhstan was empty in no time. The combination of crunchy dough and sweet sticky syrup is very addictive! I did not change the recipe much. I used kirsch instead of vodka for extra taste and added some poppy seeds. For a fresh taste I boiled the syrup with some lemon juice. It takes a little longer to turn thicker and darker but the slightly tangy taste makes it even more difficult to stay away from the cookie tin in the end. I made little rings out of the dough and dipped them in the syrup separately. You could also just fry the strips of dough and make them into little piles or a big mound like the classic chakchak cookie from Kazakhstan. You will need less syrup – use ½ cup of sugar and ½ cup of honey and just 1½ tablespoons lemon juice. It does take less time and the result will taste just as nice, but the effect is a little less stylish.
Poppy seed chakchak
for about 40 cookies
170 grams (¾ cup) flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon kirsch
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
oil for deep frying
for the syrup
125 grams (¾ cup) sugar
125 grams (¾ cup) honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
In a bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder and the salt.
Add the eggs, the kirsch and the poppy seeds and knead into a smooth ball of dough.
Cover with cling film and leave to rest at room temperature for about 30 mins.
Roll out the dough until very thin and cut into thin strips of about 4 cm/2½ inches. Roll them out into 20 cm/8 inches long sticks. Form into a circle and squeeze the ends together well.
Heat the oil in a wide pan. When a piece of dough starts bubbling straight away and rises to the surface immediately the oil is hot enough for frying.
In batches, fry the dough for a few minutes until golden brown. Take from the pan with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on paper towels.
Heat the sugar, the honey and the lemon juice and leave to boil for about 7 mins. or until the color of the syrup becomes darker.
Dip the fried rings in the hot syrup and shake of the excess. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Leave to cool on a cookie sheet covered with baking paper.
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