I like the sour taste and the red color of sumac. Sumac is the dried and ground berry of the sumac bush and is often used in Middle Eastern cooking instead of lemon or lemon zest. It gives these buttery cookies a fresh taste and a nice colour. Check to see that you buy unsalted sumac. I accidentally made my first batch of this variation of the classic ghorayeba cookie from Egypt with salted sumac and although the taste is interesting, unsalted sumac does make for a better tasting cookie.
for about 20 cookies
100 grams ghee
50 grams icing sugar
200 grams flour
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon sumac (unsalted) + extra for rolling
1 teaspoon lemon juice
With an electric mixer beat the ghee until light and creamy.
Add the icing sugar and beat for about 4 mins. or until the sugar has dissolved.
Add the flour, the sumac and the salt and beat for a few minutes until the mixture resembles rough crumbs.
Form into a little roll of 4 cm/1,5 inches thick. The dough is rather loose, but should hold together. If the dough is too crumbly, knead in ½ teaspoon water. Form into a rectangle.
Roll into cling film and leave to firm in the fridge for about 30 mins.
With a sharp knife cut slices of about ½ cm/¼ inch and place on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper. Score the sumac cookies diagonally with a sharp knife.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F.
Bake the cookies in the middle of the oven for about 10 mins. They should still be pale. Take out of the oven and leave to cool on the cookie sheet. Brush the sides of the cookies with lemon juice and roll through the sumac.
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