Aviya Parnas's Fazuelos cookies. Photography: Daniel Lailah.
Aviya Parnas's Fazuelos cookies. Photography: Daniel Lailah.
Recipe

Fazuelos cookies

Fazuelos, also called fijuelas, are crispy and delicate cookies from Ladino cuisine, made from strips of dough that are rolled and fried on a fork

Esther Parnas, the grandmother of chef Aviya Parnas, used to prepare fazuelos cookies for her family to break the Yom Kippur fast. In later years, she loosened up a bit on the strict tradition and prepared them as a special treat- every time she wanted to spoil the grandchildren, she would prepare a box for each one, with powdered sugar and cinnamon mixed together on the side. Esther made these cookies herself until she turned 90 and the grandchildren knew how to appreciate the amount of investment, precision and skill needed – especially Aviya who started making them herself recently and only mastered the craft after a few attempts (and burns).

Ingredients for Fazuelos cookies

For the dough:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar 5%
  • 1 tablespoon Arak
  • 2 cups flour or spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • a pinch Salt
  • 4 cups (1 liter) oil for deep frying

For Coating:

  • 3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  • 1. Place the dough ingredients in a mixer with a kneading hook and mix at medium speed until a smooth and uniform dough is obtained.

  • 2. Divide the dough into 4 parts and wrap well in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to rest.

  • 3. Using a pasta machine, roll out the dough in stages until you reach the next to last setting. Divide the dough into uniform rectangular strips measuring 2" x 1¼" (6x3 cm) (or larger, depending on preference).

  • 4. Meanwhile, heat oil for deep frying. Wrap each strip of dough on a fork and place, still on the fork, in the hot oil. Fry carefully in stages. Wait for the part in the oil to open a little and turn the dough with the fork slowly until it all does so. Release the fried dough from the fork into the oil and fry for a few more minutes until golden.

  • 5. Remove the fried dough to a plate lined with paper towels. Mix powdered sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Cool the cookies and sprinkle the sugar mixture over them using a small sieve.

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