Almost every pastry shop in Turkey has these amazing gooey semolina cookies but homemade ones are still the best – as with many other traditional dishes. Depending on the region you're in, this recipe can vary, but the end result will make you want to eat more every time.
For the dough
125 grams butter
80 grams sugar
80 grams semolina
80 milliliters vegetable oil
1350 grams flour
10 grams baking powder (1 package)
For the syrup
800 grams sugar
400 milliliters water
First, let's start with the syrup. Set 100 milliliters of the water aside and stir the sugar into the remaining 300 milliliters of water. Bring the solution to a boil and let it simmer for five minutes. When the time is up, turn off the stove, pour in the 100 milliliters of water in and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top. Let the mixture cool.
While the syrup is cooling, you can start making the cookies. Mix together one egg and one egg white (set the yolk aside for later), the vegetable oil, semolina, sugar, butter, baking powder and one part of the flour in a bowl and start kneading the mixture.
While kneading, gradually add the flour until you have a soft but not sticky dough that can be formed into balls without falling apart.
Get a deep, flat baking tray, preferably not a glass one, and carefully start forming the cookies into elongated oval shapes. Make sure that the cookies are about the same size.
Whisk the remaining egg yolk and spread it over the cookies.
Finally, take a fork and gently make stripes on the top of the cookies (optional).
Bake at 180 C for about 20 minutes or until the cookies start turning a golden brownish color.
Once they are out of the oven, the syrup should have cooled down enough to be poured over the cookies evenly with a ladle. The syrup should come to about half the height of the cookies, to be absorbed slowly.
Cover the baking tray with a clean cloth or a newspaper and let the cookies soak up the syrup. This takes at least three hours so making these the day before is a good idea.
To serve, sprinkle some pistachio flakes over the cookies (optional).
Either the cookie or the syrup needs to be hot so that the cookies can absorb the syrup.
Alternatively and more traditionally, you can make the cookies in a round shape, being sure to make them thick enough, and push a hazelnut in the middle of each before baking.