A baking tray topped with long swirled sesame cookies

Macedonian susamliji (sesame cookies)

  • makes about 28 cookies
  • Easy

These celebration cookies are made by Macedonian families for special occasions. Finish this simple braided, butter-based biscuit with an egg glaze and a scattering of sesame seeds


This susamliji recipe is adapted from Macedonia – The Cookbook, Katerina Nitsou (Kitchen Press, £20). Katerina says: “These are a celebration cookie, and every Macedonian family makes them for special occasions. During the holidays, platters of these cookies are made for Macedonian neighbours and extended family.”



  • eggs 5
  • whole milk 120ml
  • vegetable oil 120ml, plus extra for the baking sheets
  • caster sugar 250g
  • baking powder 1 tbsp
  • freshly squeezed orange juice 4 tbsp
  • plain flour 700g, sifted, plus extra for dusting
  • sesame seeds 40g


  • Step 1

    Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or an electric whisk, mix together 4 of the eggs, the milk, oil, sugar, baking powder and orange juice. Slowly add the flour, mixing for a few minutes until fully incorporated and a dough forms. Shape the dough into a ball, cover and chill for 20 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Oil two large baking sheets with a little vegetable oil.

  • Step 3

    On a lightly floured worksurface, portion the dough out into approximately double-tablespoon-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a log about 1cm thick and 10cm long. Fold each log in half and twist the ends together.

  • Step 4

    Put the cookies onto the baking sheets, spacing them about 5cm apart. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg, then brush this over the cookies and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

  • Step 5

    Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown (you may need to do this in batches if your oven can’t fit both baking sheets at once).

This susamliji recipe is adapted from Macedonia - The Cookbook, Katerina Nitsou (Kitchen Press, £20). Photographs by Oliver Fitzgerald.

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Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 192
  • Fat 6.5g
  • Saturates 0.9g
  • Carbs 28.7g
  • Sugars 9.4g
  • Fibre 1.2g
  • Protein 4.2g
  • Salt 0.2g