Sesame Pastels - Sephardic Honey Cookies. Photography: Daniel Lailah, Styling: Oriyah Geva
Sesame Pastels - Sephardic Honey Cookies. Photography: Daniel Lailah, Styling: Oriyah Geva

Sesame Pastels – Sephardic Honey Cookies

A modern version of these delicate cookies filled with honey, almonds, Turkish Delight, and sesame from the cuisine of Greek Jews

This recipe is taken from a unique project in collaboration with Pastry Chefs Michal Bouton and Michal Amram from the “Amita” Bakery in Tel Aviv. For the project, we recreated the sweet recipes from Molly Bar David’s “Folklore Cookbook”- published in 1964 and the first compliation cookbook of its kind, Bar David took recipes from Jewish communities around the world and created a exhaustive and (then) contemporary Israeli culinary canon.

Ingredients for Honey Cookies

For the Dough:

  • 5.3 oz (150 grams) olive oil
  • 3.5 oz (100 grams) water
  • 1 teaspoon (5 gram) Salt
  • ¾ teaspoon (3 gram) baking powder
  • 8.1 oz (230 grams) flour
  • 1.75 oz (50 grams) Sugar
  • 2.1 oz (60 gram) orange juice

For the Filling:

  • 3.5 oz (100 grams) nuts chopped
  • 3.5 oz (100 grams) almonds chopped
  • 2.5 oz (70 grams) Sesame seeds
  • 7 oz (200 grams) Turkish delight chopped
  • honey


Prepare the Dough:

  • 1. In a stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, mix olive oil, water, sugar, salt and baking powder.

  • 2. Add the flour and mix to combine.

  • 3. Transfer the dough to a sealed box and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Prepare the Filling:

  • 4. Mix together the nuts, almonds, sesame seeds and the Turkish Delight. Add the honey gradually while mixing, and stop when the mixture becomes a uniform paste (the honey acts as a kind of glue).

Fill, Shape, and Bake:

  • 5. Heat the oven to 340F degrees (170C) and line an baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • 6. Roll the dough into a sheet a little less than .4" (1 cm) thick and cut out circles with a diameter of 2" (5 cm) using a glass. Alternatively, you can also weigh portions of dough, between 35-40 grams each, and flatten them with your hand.

  • 7. Place one of the dough circles in the center of the palm of your hand, put a spoonful of the filling in the center of the circle and close the edges of the circle over it, tighten and roll into a ball (the closing process is similar to making a ma'amoul or kubeh).

  • 8. Arrange the filled balls at intervals on the baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the pastries are golden. Cool completely before serving.

*שמנו לב שחסרים כמה פרטים קטנים להשלמת הפרופיל שלך ב־FOODISH, אפשר להוסיף אותם בקלות בעמוד המשתמש שלך.