Domari Walnut Cakes (Cookies from Jerusalem)
Recipe and photo contributed by Elizabeth Schwartz
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes
These walnut cakes are a tender, walnut stuffed cookie that is truly a delight with a cup of strong, steaming, black leaf tea. This recipe is adapted from The Domari Cookbook, collected by Amoun Sleem. See our kitchen tips after the recipe for places to buy a cookie mold, to make it in the traditional and beautiful presentation.
4½ cups fine semolina flour
½ cup sugar
8 ounces unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk
½ teaspoon baking soda
1½ cups finely chopped walnuts
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Powdered sugar for dusting
- Combine the semolina and sugar in a mixing bowl.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan and heat until small bubbles form. Pour the melted butter over the semolina and mix with a wooden spoon until the butter is evenly distributed and the dough resembles coarse meal.
- Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat and mix in the baking soda. Pour over the semolina mixture and mix until a soft dough forms. Cool.
- Turn the dough out onto a board and knead by hand until well combined. Do not overwork the dough or it will get tough. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave at room temperature to rest for 5 to 8 hours.
- Once dough is ready, mix the filling ingredients together in a small bowl. Knead dough once more so it is pliable again.
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Pinch off a tablespoon of dough at a time, roll into a ball between your hands, then press flat and push sides up to make a well. Fill with one teaspoon of the filling and pinch dough together to seal. Press the ball of dough into the cookie press, then tap it out.
- Place each completed cake on an ungreased baking tray, decorated side up. (They won’t rise so you can place them close together without touching).
- Place cakes in oven and immediately reduce the heat to 350°F. Bake until light golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool the cookies on the tray for 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately or store in airtight containers for up to 1 week. Serve with a light dusting of powdered sugar.
You can substitute clarified butter, or ghee, for the melted butter with great success if you have some on hand. It also works with a non dairy non saturated fat margerine, but it be a bit more crumbly, a little more flaky, and it does have a slighlty different but still great flavor.