Antakya’s Kombe Cookie with Walnuts – Three Generations Baking by Ozlem Warren
You can order a signed copy of Ozlem Warren’s debut cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland, at this link, https://www.gbpublishing.co.uk/product-page/ozlem-s-turkish-table-hardback
Kombe cookies are made in every special occasion in Antakya and surroundings; weddings, religious festivals, Ramadan or at any special gathering. They have a delicious, crunchy bite to it and I like that they are not overly sweet. There are variations of kombe cookies even in Southeast Turkey; some has only nuts in it, some would have dates, as in the case of their Middle Eastern cousin, Mamul or Ma’amoul. Regardless of their variation, both kombe and ma’amoul have a special place throughout the Middle Eastern cuisines and have been a part of the celebrations in different religions; during Ramadan, Easter and Hanukkah. Indeed a special cross cultural cookie and I think that makes it even more special.
• 500gr/4 cups plain, all-purpose flour
• 200 gr/ 7 oz. unsalted butter, melted
• 110gr/ 3.5 oz./ ½ cup granulated white sugar
• 2 egg white, beaten
• 10 ml/ 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
• 15 ml/1 tbsp. ground cinnamon or Kombe baharat
• 4 fl. oz./ ½ cup warm whole milk
• For the filling:
• 85gr/3 oz./2/3 cup crushed walnuts
• 30ml/2 tbsp. sugar
• 10ml/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F
2. Combine the flour and the melted butter in a large bowl and mix well.
3. Dissolve the sugar in the warm milk and add to the flour mixture.
4. Pour in the vanilla extract, egg whites and the cinnamon or kombe baharat, combine well.
5. Knead the mixture well for 2-3 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth.
6. Take a small walnut size of the dough and press the dough gently into the mold to take its shape.
7. Stuff this dough with about 1 ½ tsp. of the filling mixture.
8. Take another small piece of dough, about half of the size of the first one. Flatten and press this dough gently over the filling,to form a cap and close the dough. Press gently and seal the ends of the dough.
9. Remove the kombe cookie from the wooden mold by tapping the end of the mold with your fingers firmly and make sure to catch the falling cookie, shaped with the mold’s intricate de sign. Place the cookie on a baking tray and repeat this with the rest of the dough.
10. Bake the cookies for about 20 or 25 minutes, until they get a nice light brown color. They are traditionally lighter in color.
11. Once cool, serve the Kombe cookies with tea, cay or coffee. Kombe cookies can be stored in an airtight container for at least 3-4 days.