Seven-spice cookie ~ Kömbe

The cookie dough is made from a beautiful mixture of fresh ground spices that include mahlebi, mastic, cinnamon, ground cardamom, ginger, clove, ground nutmeg and anice seeds with crushed walnut filling. During Ramadan, these seven-spicy cookies are a tradition of Hatay and Southeast region of Turkey. Almost in every household, large amounts of kömbe cookies are formed with its special wooden moulds then baked or else can be purchased ready from a wood-fired bakery.

These are a classical ritual cookies of Sugar Feast (Şeker Bayramı) as well as perfect for every occasion of Hatay region. During Sugar Feast bayram, people visit each other and the wonderful smell of these cruncy cookies are served to the guests.

  • 150 gr. butter (melted)
  • 100 ml. extra virgin olive oil
  • 100 ml. milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. vanilla powder
  • 570 gr. flour
  • 1 t. seven spice mixture

for the filling:

  • 1 cup crushed walnuts
  • 3 T. powdered sugar
  • 1 t. seven spice mixture
  • 3 T. sesame seeds to cover (optional)

for seven spice mixture:

  • 6 mahlebi seeds (pastle and mortar with a grinder)
  • 1/2 t. ground mastic tears (grind with a mortar and pestle the mastic tears)
  • 1 t. cinnmon powder
  • 1 t. clove powder
  • 4 cardomom seeds (give the pods a good whack with the side of a knife and take the seeds to grind)
  • 1/2 t. ginger powder
  • ground nutmeg ( grate 1/2 t. nutmeg)
  • 1/2 t. aniseed ( crush the aniseed in a mortar and pestle)

The combination should be around 2 teaspoons. Use one teaspoon for the dough and the other one teaspoon for the filling.

Melt the butter. When it is lukewarm, put to it to a bowl. Add olive oil, milk and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add the seven spice mixture and stir well. Slowly add flour. Knead the mixture well until the dough will be smooth and soft.

Make the dough walnut sized balls. Fill with walnut mixture to the round shaped dough and close it with hands.

Then press down one side of the filled dough, to the oiled wooden mould to take its shape. Optionally dip them to sesame seeds. (This time, I forgot to dip to sesame seeds.)

Place on a parchament baking sheet covered tray.

Bake them on preheated 160°C oven until the cookies are golden colour.

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