Makes 2 dozen
adjust servings:

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To decorate

  1. Put the warm milk in a measuring jug and stir in the yeast. Leave for 10 minutes to let the yeast foam up.
  2. Mix together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and either using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or your fingertips, work in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the milk and yeast mixture along with the two whole eggs and the two egg whites.
  3. If you’re using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook attachment and knead on a medium speed just until everything comes together into a smooth dough or knead by hand, but either way, take care not to over knead. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes in a warm, draught-free place.
  4. Preheat the oven to 190°C fan. Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
  5. Pinch off 50g – 60g portions of the dough (roughly the size of a large egg) and roll into a ball between the palms of your hands, then flatten each ball into a disc. You can leave them as flat discs, but if you want to create a decorative edge, then flatten all around the edge even more so that they look almost like ravioli, with a bump in the middle.
  6. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the edge and twist it towards you to create the decorative edge, repeating this all the way around the disc to create overlapping twists. Place on the lined trays, spaced a little bit apart.
  7. Whisk the egg yolks and milk together, then brush the tops of the cookies with this egg wash. Sprinkle over a small pinch of nigella and sesame seeds on top of each one.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack, then eat with strong, sweet, milky Yemeni cardamom tea. 

Blasta Books_3_The United Nations of Cookies_Cover

Recipe taken from Blasta Books #3: The United Nations of Cookies by Jess Murphy and Eoin Cluskey


All author proceeds will be donated to UNHCR