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Sekerpare cookie from Turkey

Posted by on 29 November, 2014
sekerpare turkey klein 2

Sekerpare cookie from Turkey

Here in Holland we are getting ready for the traditional Sinterklaas celebration on the 5th of December. Just like Santa he gives away presents on the eve of his birthday. But unlike Santa he likes a bit of a tease and sends poems in which bad habits, embarrassing incidents are mildly mocked. Often poems will be accompanied by a ‘surprise’ – a mock present that goes with the poem’s theme. We will eat the traditional speculaas cookie (click for my speculaas recipe) and marzipan molded in very realistic shapes like apples, piglets, mushrooms and even french fries. Mulled ‘bishops’ wine and hot chocolate are the drink of choice during Sinterklaas evening. This week’s cookie is one from Sinterklaas’s country of birth: Turkey. Just like the famous baklava the sekerpare cookie is drenched in a sweet lemony syrup after baking. The cookie turns a little soft because of the sweet liquid but is firm enough to serve easily. The flour is mixed with a little bit of semolina that gives the cookie a nice bite. It goes really well with all the little glasses of sweet and lightly bitter tea that are served everywhere in Turkey, but I am sure they will go just as well with hot chocolate, mulled wine and surprises. If you like this cookie, try my variation with traditional Dutch speculaas spices



Sekerpare cookie from Turkey

for about 40 cookies

turkey sekerpare ingredients

sekerpare ingredients

for the syrup
750 grams sugar (3¾ cups)
1 liter water (4 cups)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
for the dough
250 grams soft unsalted butter (2⅓ sticks)
125 grams icing sugar (¾ cup)
2 eggs
125 grams semolina (¼ cup)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence or ¼ teaspoon vanilla powder
pinch of salt
450 grams flour (3 ¼ cups)
40 hazelnuts






sekerpare syrup

making syrup


Make the syrup by bringing the sugar and water to the boil. Leave to boil for about 5 minutes, add the lemon juice and leave to cool. 






sekerpare turkey butter sugar

butter and sugar


Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F.
With an electric mixer beat the butter with the icing sugar until light and creamy.







turkey sekerpare eggs

add eggs


Add the eggs and beat until fully incorporated. 









sekerpare turkey semolina



Mix in the semolina.








turkey sekerpare cookie

all the ingredients in a bowl


Add the baking powder, the salt, the vanilla and the flour.









sekerpare cookie dough

a soft dough


Form into a soft ball of dough.








sekerpare cookie

ready for the oven


Roll little balls of about 25 grams of the dough.
Put them on a cookie sheet covered with baking paper and press a little hole in the middle of each ball. Put a hazelnut in every hole and bake in the middle of the oven for about 25 minutes or until light brown.





sekerpare turkey

soak for about 5 hours



Carefully transfer the cookies to an oven dish in which they  fit snugly and pour over the syrup. Leave to soak for about 5 hours. 

This post is also available in: Dutch

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