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Sesame biscuits with pistachios & sour cherries

Makes 25–30

The latest iteration of our favourite Middle Eastern biscuit includes tangy sweet-sour dried cherries.

40 g (11/2 oz) soft brown sugar

45 g (11/2 oz) icing (confectioners’)


150 g (51/2 oz) unsalted butter, softened

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

200 g (7 oz) self-raising flour, sifted

40 g (11/2 oz) sour cherries or

barberries (sour cherries should

be fairly finely chopped)

50 g (13/4 oz) pistachio slivers

(we use Iranian)

60 g (2 oz) sesame seeds,

lightly toasted

Combine the sugars and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with the paddle attachment for around 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and beat in the egg and vanilla extract, then add the flour and beat at low speed until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to fold in the chopped cherries, without overworking. Cover in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 140ºC (275ºF) fan-forced/160ºC (320ºF). Line two baking trays with silicone baking mats or baking paper.


Take little pieces of dough and roll them between the palms of your hands into large marble-sized balls. Flatten gently to form little discs around 5 mm (1/4 in) thick.


Line up two dishes on your work surface, one with the pistachio slivers and one with the sesame seeds. Press one side of the biscuits into the pistachios then press the other side into the sesame seeds. Carefully brush off any excess seeds and nuts and place the biscuits, sesame side up, on the prepared baking trays, allowing about 5 cm (2 in) between them for spreading.


Bake the biscuits for 10–12 minutes, or until golden brown, swapping the trays around halfway through to ensure they bake evenly.


Remove from the oven and leave the biscuits to cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and leave to cool completely. They will keep for around 1 week in an airtight container.

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