Algerian Kaak


This recipe is exciting to me since it marks the first recipe for the MENA Cooking Club. This month’s country was Algeria and the host was Asmaa from Halal Home Cooking. Asmaa has been a dear friend of mine for several years now. She lives in her homeland of England and is married to an Algerian and together they have three beautiful kids. Just like me and a lot of you she is learning how to cook her husbands favorite foods from his country.

Asma chose – for a savory dish and Algerian Kaak for the sweet one. The Algerian Kaak recipe she used is from the blog La Petite Paniere and is the dish that I decided to make this month. In MENA we are allowed to use the hostesses chosen blogs recipe and make any changes that we may want. North African kaak usually contains anise and fennel, which are actually my two least favorite spices so I opted for my favorite in their place which is cardamom.

I looked over a few recipes to see what the base ingredients were for Algerian Kaak and wrote one that would make a smaller batch. As you see my kaak is also a bit lighter in color which is due to not using anise and fennel. I also replaced the usual oil for olive oil to make it a bit healthier. I made half of mine without sesame seeds sprinkled on top and half with. These were delicious and perfect for a Ramadan treat in the evening with coffee.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon yeast
1 egg
1/2 cup warm water + 2 tablespoons
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds plus more for topping
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water

1. In a small bowl, add yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 2 tablespoons of warm water, mix and allow to sit for 5 minutes. It will be frothy.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamom, orange blossom water and mix. Add olive oil and yeast mixture, mix well. Add sesame seeds, egg and a small amount of water until a dough has formed.

3. Mix well with hands and knead for 5 minutes, then shape into 13 balls the size of small eggs. Carefully roll each ball into a strip about 6 inches long and then press ends together to form a circle. Place each cookie on a nonstick baking mat on a cookie sheet. You can make decorations on top by using a knife to make slits. Cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F.

4. In a small bowl, add egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of cold water, mix. Carefully brush the tops of the cookies with this mixture. If using more sesame seeds on top sprinkle. Place in the oven and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes until golden.

Yields: 13 cookies

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  • Asmaa says:

    As-Salaamu Alaykum Noor,
    these look Delicious! I like how you used cardamom instead of anise or fennel.

    • Noor says:

      Wa Alaykum Salam Asmaa and thank you. Yours looks so good as well. Thank you for hosting :)

  • Aiza says:

    Salaam Noor,
    Thank you so much for hosting this- it was really fun yet intriguing at the same time. And before I forget, you have taken great images, they just convey the origin of the cookies.

    • Noor says:

      Thank you so much sweetie and I love your post as well so much. I am so glad that you’re part of the club.

  • Maryam says:

    Salaam Noor, thanks so much for allowing us to be a part of this beautiful project; jazak Allah khair.
    Your kaak look beautiful, tislam yeedeik.

    • Noor says:

      Wa Alaykum Salam and thank you so much Maryam. Thank you for being part of it and yours looked amazing mashAllah.

  • Amira says:

    Salam noor,
    it was indeed very exciting to launch this amazing cooking club. I’ve made kaak too but with a different recipe that turned out to be very good. your kaak looks so delicious.

    • Noor says:

      Wa Alaykum Asalam Amira this was my first time making them and it was so nice learning something new especially with awesome foodies like you all.

  • Madiha says:

    Thanks for bearing with me while i bothered you regarding todays post!! Your cookies look good ,cardamom must have created really nice aroma And taste in them!!

    • Noor says:

      You did not bother me so think nothing of it and thanks so much.

  • Sadaf F K. says:

    Asalam O Alaikum Noor,
    Your Ka’ak are looking decadent. I can see the perfection here and awesome photos that are making me tempt to taste your cookies. :)
    Once again, Thank you for organizing this amazing club. I’m seeing myself enjoying and learning from it. :)

    Lots of love & Blessings.
    Sadaf F K. | Chef in Frame

    • Noor says:

      Wa Alaykum Salam and thank you for your kind words. I am glad that you’re enjoying the club I am as well. InshAllah we all do.

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