Barazek Shortbread Cookie Recipe (Black and White Sesame and Pistachio Biscuits)

Barazek shortbreads (Black and white sesame and pistachio biscuits)

  • makes 15 large shortbreads
  • Easy

Barazek cookies or biscuits are thin, crispy and usually come with sesame and pistachios. They're easy-to-make and are traditionally served as sweet treats in Syrian bakeries


Biscuits recipe by Lily Vanilli

Lily says… “I love the traditional barazek biscuit, and wanted to merge the Syrian flavours with a traditional English biscuit.”



  • wholemeal flour 300g
  • caster sugar 75g
  • light brown sugar 25g
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • a pinch of vanilla
  • very cold unsalted butter 250g, cubed
  • egg yolk 1
  • egg white 1
  • pistachios a handful, crushed
  • black and white sesame seeds a handful, toasted lightly in a hot saucepan for 2 minutes, or until starting to pop


  • Step 1

    Sift the flour, sugars and salt together in a large bowl. Add the cold butter and rub with your fingertips to form fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and bring the mixture together into a dough, being careful not to overwork it.

  • Step 2

    Roll out on a floured surface to approximately 1cm thick. Cut into any shape you like (I used an 8cm cookie cutter), place on a baking tray lined with parchment, and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, but preferably overnight.

  • Step 3

    Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Gently brush one side of each cookie with egg white and dust with the crushed pistachios, then do the same on the other side with the sesame. Bake for approximately 12 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before eating.

Please note this recipe comes from #CookForSYRIA recipe book and has not been tested by our cookery team. More information about the Cook For Syria book here.

#CookForSYRIA recipe book