Shekerbura is one of the traditional sweet pastries baked for Novruz, one of the most important holidays in Azerbaijan. It is not a religious holiday, but actually is the celebration of the coming of spring, and the renewal of nature.
Shekerbura is a sweet pastry filled with ground nuts and sugar. In Azerbaijan, making shekerbura usually involves a team-work. Relatives and neighbors get together at somebody’s house and all contribute to the making of this and other Novruz treats.
What makes Shekerbura really special is the pattern that is made on them using a special type of decoration tweezers, called maggash. I could not find maggash anywhere to buy online on the web, so I decided to use my crimpers, which are intended to decorate fondant, but which are very similar to traditionalmaggash , only a bit bigger.
Preparation time: 30 min
Cooking time: 30 min
Yield: 24 shekerbura
- 200 g ground blanched almond (7 oz)
- 150 g confectioners’ sugar (5 oz)
- 30 ml water (1/8 cup)
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom (I did not use it)
- 250 g butter, cold and diced (2 sticks)
- 500 g all purpose flour (about 4 cups)
- 1 egg
- 120 ml water (1/2 cup)
- Fondant crimpers (optional)
- Prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, combine the ground almonds, sugar and cardamom (if you are using it). Add water and mix thoroughly to moisten the filling. Cover with plastic film, and set aside.
- Then prepare dough. Place butter, flour, water and egg in a food processor, and process until all ingredients are well combined. Transfer the dough to a working surface, and knead until smooth
- Divide dough into 24 pieces, and roll each one into a small ball. Place the balls on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 or 2 hours
- Then, preheat oven to 375 ºF (180º C) Work with one ball at a time, and cover the rest. Roll each ball into a circle, and cut using a round cutter for a perfect finish. Place the circle in the palm of your hand, slightly folded, and put 1 tablespoons of the filling in the middle.
- Starting at one end, begin sealing the left and right edges towards the center to obtain a half-moon shape
- Using your thumb and index finger, start pinching and twisting the dough along the seal to decorate the edges. Please find here a video with the whole process for your convenience
- Arrange the pastries on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, and cover with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out. Repeat until finishing the dough
- Continue working with the rest of the dough balls, until finished.
- Now let’s decorate the tops. Holding a pastry in one hand, and a maggash or crimper in the other, pinch the dough repeteadly until you obtain a row of pattern. Create similar rows, each at an angle to the next one, until the entire surface is decorated.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, remove from the oven, and let cool completely
- If you do not have a maggash or crimper, simply dust powdered sugar over the finished pastries
- Can be stored in an airtight container up to a week
- Recipe and shekerbura info found here, here and here, thank you!
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