MASTIC GUM & RICOTTA COOKIES
Makes 26 cookies.
The recipe belongs to Sibel who has a very nice Turkish food blog.
These cookies are so popular in Turkey. Most of the Turkish food bloggers have tried and recommended it to anyone who wants to try. I tried and liked it too. The smell of mastic gum is just perfect and it is a very healthy snack for kids too.
In order to make these cookies you should have a special Turkish cheese which is called "lor peyniri" and mastic gum. Ricotta cheese could be substituted for the cheese and the gum could be bought online.
- 1 cup of ricotta cheese
- 4 small pieces of mastic gum
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 2 eggs
- juice of a half lemon
- 2+1/2 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp of baking soda
- 1/2 cup of sesame seeds
Take 1 cup of ricotta cheese in a strainer and cover it with plastic wrap. Place a deep cup under the strainer to let the liquid out and let it sit in the refrigerator for two days. This way ricotta cheese become more thicker just like " lor cheese."
At the end of two days, take ricotta cheese from the refrigerator and place it in a large bowl. Add olive oil, sugar and eggs ( set one egg white aside for the topping ) in the bowl and whisk it. Dissolve the baking soda in the lemon juice and add it into the bowl. Place the mastic gum in the freezer and let it sit there for 10 minutes and then take it out. Grind it in the coffee grinder until ground to the point of flour. Add ground mastic gum into the bowl. Mix it well.
Start to add flour into this mixture and knead it. The original recipe calls just for 2 cups of flour but my dough was too juicy and I needed to add a half cup of more flour. The dough should be so soft and a little bit sticky because of the mastic gum. If it sticks to your hands do not add any flour. Just wet your hand before giving them the shape.
Place the sesame seeds and the egg white in separated bowls. Take small parts ( about the size of walnut ) from the dough and give them the shape of small balls and dip ( just one side of the cookies ) them first into egg white and then coat them with sesame seeds. Place them on a greased baking tray. Preheat the oven 350 F. Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes.