Arak Cookies

Arak Cookies

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.

Lisa says:

These are so addicting…

Thad says:

Mmmmm… very good.

Chris says:

I think they’re awesome — they’d be great with pistachios.

Lisa says:

Then they’d totally be Lebanese…

Abbie says:

These are delicious — and I don’t even like arak!

Megan says:

Yeah, how’d you think to use arak in these? Genius!

Chris says:

I’m trying to make room in my belly for more, but the other 9 courses we had tonight are making that quite difficult…

Arak Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp arak
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Almond slivers

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.

24 Cookies

6 responses to “Arak Cookies”

  1. Wow, these are awesome!!! It’s funny cause it’s been days now that I’ve been wanting to use Arak (or Ouzo, same thing anways!) in a dessert… will definately have to try out these cookies!! Is 2 tbsp enough for the taste to come out?

  2. Marianna — The taste was definitely there, but no one was like, “whoa, there’s booze in these cookies!” Not overpowering. I’d *maybe* add another 1/2 tbsp or so next time, but then it might get to the point where those who don’t like licorice may not enjoy them. Also, our Arak is 100 proof, so maybe you could use that as a guide. 🙂

  3. it’s true, just the right amount of licorice flavour without dominating. maybe not enough for chris tho’– didn’t you have a glass of arak *with* your cookie? 😉

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