We had a Lebanese food fest at our friend Megan’s last night, and one of the items we brought were these delicious Arak cookies, adapted from a butter cookie recipe in Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen. The original uses orange flower water, but I thought they’d be delicious with the anise-flavor of arak. Boy was I right — the flavor level was right on: just a hint of licorice without it being overwhelming.
These are so addicting…
Mmmmm… very good.
I think they’re awesome — they’d be great with pistachios.
Then they’d totally be Lebanese…
These are delicious — and I don’t even like arak!
Yeah, how’d you think to use arak in these? Genius!
I’m trying to make room in my belly for more, but the other 9 courses we had tonight are making that quite difficult…
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp arak
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar, and arak until the mixture is light and fluffy. With a wooden spoon, gradually mix in the flour.
Preheat the oven to 325F. Pinch off walnut-sized pieces of dough and roll them into balls. Arrange the balls 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Gently press to flatten each ball to make round cookies about 1 1/2-inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle 3-4 almond slivers (or one pistachio) into the center of each. Bake the cookies at 325F 20 to 25 minutes or until they are firm to the touch. Don’t let them brown!
Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheets 5 minutes; sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
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