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Holiday Cookies – Kherbet Qanafar, Lebanon

This recipe of holiday cookies was sent to us by Mrs. Lina Saade from Kherbet Qanafar, a beautiful village in the West Bekaa of Lebanon.  Lina who owns a table d’hote on darb el karam – food trail, is renowned for her cookies baked on wood fire. These cookies which she sells in local shops and serves to her guests all year-round, have been traditionally prepared on special occasions especially on Easter and Palm Sunday or “Chaanineh”.

Total servings: 6 kilos of Kaak

Preparation time: 4-5 hours


3 kg of flour

1.5 kg of sugar

3 cups of vegetable oil

8 cups of fresh cow milk

3 tsp of yeast

3 tsp of baking powder

2 tsp of rose water

1 tsp of “Mahleb”

1 tsp of vanilla powder

1 tsp of grated nutmeg

Sesame for decoration

Preparation steps:

  1. In a cooking pot, heat the fresh milk until boiling point, then add sugar and stir well
  2. When the sugar is well dissolved, add the vegetable oil
  3. In a big bowl, mix the flour, yeast, baking powder, Mahleb, vanilla powder and nutmeg
  4. When the milk cools down gradually add it to the bowl while mixing
  5. Knead well until the dough becomes smooth
  6. Sprinkle the rose water on the dough and leave it to rest for 3 hours
  7. These cookies are usually prepared by shaping the dough into rounded shapes (picture) but yu can also use molds to give them different shapes
  8. Sprinkle sesame on top of the cookies and bake them in a wood oven for about 4 minutes
  9. A gas oven can also be used, but the wood oven gives the cookies their special flavor

2 thoughts on “Holiday Cookies – Kherbet Qanafar, Lebanon”

  1. H
    Just want to clarify 1 think is it real to use 5 kg of sugar for 3 kg of flour
    Kindly can you correct me

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