May Yeshurun's Debla- fried cookies. Photography: Shani Brill; Styling: Einav Riechner
May Yeshurun's Debla- fried cookies. Photography: Shani Brill; Styling: Einav Riechner
Recipe

Debla – fried cookies

An especially light version of debla- North African cookies that are super thin and crispy after a quick fry in hot oil

Debla are cookies made from long strips of dough that are twisted into the shape of a rose, deep fried in oil and dipped in sugar syrup. The expatriates of Tripoli and Tunisia prepare them on Purim, and they have close relatives in the Sephardic shamelias and the Moroccan fazuelos, which are dusted with confectioner’s sugar. In pastry chef May Yeshurun’s version, the dough is not shaped, simply cut into small, crispy squares.

Ingredients for Debla cookies

For the dough:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) water
  • 5-6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons (300 grams) flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) Sugar
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • oil for frying

For the sugar syrup:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 1¾ cups (350 grams) Sugar
  • 2 tablespoon (30 ml) lemon juice

Instructions

Prepare the dough:

  • 1. In a the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix the eggs, water and oil. Mix flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a separate bowl, add to the mixer bowl and knead for about eight minutes until a uniform and fairly dry dough is obtained. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for about half an hour to an hour.

  • 2. Roll out the dough in a pasta machine to the thinnest setting (or with a rolling pin on a floured work surface to a thickness of one to two mm) while flouring the machine, the work surface and the dough to avoid sticking. Cut into squares of different sizes, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and dry at room temperature for about half an hour to an hour.

  • 3. Heat oil for deep frying in a medium saucepan and fry the dough squares for two to three minutes until lightly golden. Remove with a slotted spoon to a tray lined with paper towels and cool for a few minutes at room temperature.

Prepare the sugar syrup:

  • 4. Bring water, sugar and lemon juice to a boil in a small pot. Dip the each dough square in the syrup for a few seconds, transfer with a slotted spoon to a serving plate, or an airtight container if not serving immediately.

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