Old School Middle Eastern Recipes with Some Modern Day Twists

Lawzena

Lawzena

There is nothing more uniquely synonymous with our Nana Badriya than Lawzena.  This one-of-a-kind cookie contains the perfect balance of just four ingredients: ground almonds, whipped egg whites, sugar and cardamom. People come from near and far for a taste of this delicious, chewy, almond cookie and for good reason –  it’s tough to find anywhere else.  The technique and recipe were passed down to Nana B from her mother and we feel blessed to be able to share it (and a piece of her) with all of you.   

I can still smell the cardamom that filled Nana’s kitchen from the time we made 300 cookies for Tamara’s (oldest of the Three T’s) wedding. Each lucky wedding guest walked out with a cookie and recipe in hand, alas! 

Lawzena earned the nickname “star cookie” when we were little because of its shape. Our Nana’s hands shaped this cookies into pillowy stars. But you can shape them anyway you want. How about hearts for Valentines Day?

Sending this recipe to you with so much of our love today and everyday.

Bosas!


Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Lawzena

This one-of-a-kind cookie contains the perfect balance of just four ingredients: ground almonds, whipped egg whites, sugar and cardamom. 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: almond, cardamom, cookie, gluten free, middle eastern sweets
Servings: 16 cookies

Ingredients

  • 4 cups blanched almonds or almond flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp ground whole cardamom pods*
  • 16 slivered almonds, for decor

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. 
  • Grind cardamom pods.* (see recipe notes below)
  • Separate egg whites from egg yolks**.  You will not need the yolks for this recipe. 
  • If using blanched almonds, blend in food processor or blender until finely  ground. 
  • Mix the ground almonds, ground cardamom and sugar in a bowl.
  • In a separate clean bowl, add egg whites. With an electric  mixer (either a stand or handheld) whip egg whites on medium speed until firm peaks form. This takes about 5-7 minutes. 
  • Fold the whipped egg whites gently into the ground almond mixture until just combined. 
  • To shape into stars, take batter out of bowl and roll into a log shape. The width of the log should be about 1.5  inches. 
  • With a knife, cut log into 1 inch segments.
  • Roll each segment into a ball. Then, flatten slightly into a disc shape (about 1/4 inch thick) in your hands***. 
  • Slightly pinch the center of the disc, thumb on top and index and middle finger on bottom. Keep this hand in place. Now with your other hand, pinch edges 5 times, spaced out evenly to make star shape. 
  • If desired, in the middle if the cookie insert vertically an almond sliver for decor. 
  • Place cookies directly on a cookie sheet. No butter or spray is needed on the cookie sheet, the cookies will not stick. 
  • Bake for about 10-12 minutes. The tops of the cookies should be lightly tan. Make sure to not overcook, the texture should be soft and chewy. 
  • Let cookies cool completely and enjoy!

Notes

* Freshly ground cardamom achieves the best taste. You can use whole cardamom pods or the cardamom seed within the pod. Whichever you use grind down to a powder. The cardamom seed by itself delivers a much stronger flavor than using the whole pod. If using just the seed in your recipe, then use 1/2 tbsp rather than 1 tbsp.
**Be sure the bowl is clean and there is no yolk in the whites as this could interfere in the whipping process of the egg whites.
***For a video tutorial on how to shape the lawzena into stars see our Instagram stories. Follow us on Instagram at @ThreeTeasKitchen.



3 thoughts on “Lawzena”

  • 5 stars
    Each piece has only 100 calories and 6 gram of protein.
    I normally use 2 cups of almond flour (From costco) and 2 cups of shaved blanched almond grinding using a food processor.

  • Everyone loved at the wedding. I shaped them smaller which was a bite size, and I just wanted to let you know that I decreased the sugar I put 3/4 cup of sugar instead of 1 cup and really you don’t see that much big difference 💕👍👍

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