Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
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These pastries are served on special occasions in Turkey and the Balkans.
Total time: 3-¼ hours
Syrup & dough preparation: 45 minutes
Dough resting: 30 minutes
Forming & baking: 1 hour
Cooling: 1 hour
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp. baking powder
4 cups flour
2 egg yolks
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup almonds or pistachios

Combine the sugar and water in a pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue to boil for ten minutes, until the syrup is thick enough to drip slowly from a cold metal spoon. Stir in the lemon juice and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Combine the powdered sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add the melted butter and egg yolks. Stir well until the ingredients hold together, then remove the dough to a smooth surface and knead for 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, return to the mixing bowl, cover it with a damp towel and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Take walnut-sized pieces of dough, roll them into balls and place on a baking sheet. Make an indentation in the top of each ball and press in an almond. Bake on the center oven rack for 30 minutes, then move the pan to the top rack and bake another 10 minutes. Cool on the sheet for 10 minutes. Arrange the sekerpares on a serving dish, then spoon syrup over each a bit at a time until no more can be absorbed. Chill for at least an hour before serving.