West Kingdom Purgatorio 2002
Casbah! Feast
Dessert Recipes

K'ak - Cookie Rings

This is a modern recipe but very similar to a 14th c. recipe
makes 18-24 cookies
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1-2/3 c. white flour, sifted
18-24 almond halves
  • Prepare Cookie Dough:
    1. Soften butter to room temp. and cream with an electric mixer in a large bowl.
    2. Beat powdered sugar into butter, a little at a time. When all is added, beat until smooth.
    3. Sift flour into sugar-butter, a little at a time.
    4. When all is added, beat until dough become stiff.
    5. Chill dough in refrigerator until firm.

  • Shape Cookies:
    1. Make walnut-sized lumps of dough.
    2. Roll into a "thin sausage" by hand and join ends to form a ring.
    3. Place circles on ungreased baking sheets about 1" apart.
    4. Press 1/2 almond onto each joint.
    5. Chill the dough rings before baking them.

  • Bake Cookies:
    1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
    2. Bake for about 15 min. until almonds are very pale gold, but cookies are still white.
    3. Let stand on baking sheet for about 1 min. to cool slightly.
    4. Then carefully transfer to wire cooling rack and leave until cold.

    Some 14th c. recipes add chopped nuts - pistachios would be excellent - and a little rosewater to the dough.

To make more cookies for a feast, make several separate batches.

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Irnin - Date Squares

This is a modern recipe, but very close to a 14th c. recipe
Makes 30 to 36 squares
1/2 lb. dates, pitted and chopped (about 1-1/3 cups)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves

3-1/4 cups medium or fine semolina
a pinch of salt
1-1/2 sticks salted butter, melted
2 TB. orange flower water
1/2 cup water

  • Prepare Filling:
    1. Put dates in a saucepan with cinnamon and cloves and a few tablespoons of water.
    2. Cook on low heat, stirring and mashing with a wooden spoon until puree-like.
    3. Remove from pan and let cool, shaping into a ball.

  • Prepare Dough:
    1. Put semolina in a large bowl and mix in salt.
    2. Make a well in the middle of the semolina.
    3. Pour in the melted butter, rubbing with your fingertips until all the grains are coated with butter.
    4. Add orange flower water and just enough water to bind the mixture.
    5. Knead until smooth.

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

  • Make Cookies:
    1. Butter a baking sheet or jelly roll pan.
    2. Divide dough into 2 equal parts.
    3. Take one half. Place it on greased baking sheet or jelly roll pan. Flatten somewhat.
    4. Place ball of dates on top and flatten somewhat. (oiling your hand helps keep you from sticking)
    5. Flatten second half of dough somewhat, and place it on top of the dates. Then flatten the whole thing evenly until you have a big, flat "cake" about 1/2 inch thick.
    6. Cut/mark 1 inch squares or lozenges (lozenges look nicer but may be more difficult, so squares will be fine).
    7. Bake in preheated oven about 15 minutes or until done (could be shorter, could be longer), checking often.
      Cookies should NOT change color.
    8. Remove pan from oven.
    9. Cut through bars and cool on wire racks.

To make more for a feast, make several separate batches.

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Moroccan Cinnamon Dusted Orange Slices

A number of modern writers have mentioned this as a historical dish,
although i haven't yet found the original reference, so this *may* be "period"...
10 lb. sweet oranges
1 cup sugar
2 Tb. cinnamon
2 Tb. orange flower water
2 Tb. rose water
  1. Cut off the ends of each orange and peel off orange skin - leave white pith.
  2. Slice oranges crosswise, that is, across the sections, removing seeds as necessary.
  3. Put orange slices into large shallow bowl.
  4. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, then with flower waters.
  5. Toss to distribute seasonings evenly.
  6. Keep cold until serving.

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Koshaf - Egyptian Dried Fruit Compote

This is a modern recipe, but similar to dishes from the 15th and 16th C. Ottoman Empire
Makes over 3 gallons
10 lb. dried apricots
5 lb. prunes
2-1/2 lb. raisins
3 lb. halved almonds
1-1/2 lb. pistachio nuts or pine nuts (we used pine nuts)
water as needed
2 cups granulated white sugar, or to taste
3/4 cup rose water
3/4 cup orange blossom water
  1. Put dried fruits in a large container.
  2. Mix in nuts.
  3. Cover with water.
  4. Stir in sugar.
  5. Add rose water and orange blossom water and stir.
  6. Let the fruits soak for at least 48 hours.
  7. Check every so often and stir, adding more water as needed, during the first 36 hours.

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Comments? Questions?