Shekkar Lemma (Sugar Cookie)
There is no better cookie to kick-off the holiday cookie baking season than Shekkar Lemma. Its simple and minimal ingredients make it an easy cookie to make, but its not your average sugar cookie. Its ratios of butter, sugar and flour, produce the most heavenly, buttery, sweet, cloud-like cookie. You can find this cookie in many Middle-Eastern stores/bakeries, but I have yet to find one that makes it as perfectly as my Tata (paternal-grandmother). In fact, her Shekkar Lemma was my favorite cookie as a child. My eyes would light up when I would see a freshly made batch on her kitchen table. While I haven’t had her cookie since childhood, I can still remember its exact taste. With that memory, and little documentation of her specific recipe, we (Three Ts and Mom) recently went on a mission to come as close as we could to Tata’s Shekkar Lemma. First, we used powdered sugar (which many others’ recipes called for), but the taste wasn’t quite right. So we tried a batch adding granulated sugar instead. That was it – the taste was spot on, but the texture was still a bit off. So we played around with the dough and oven temperatures to make sure the cookie kept its cloud-like shape and texture. After about 15-20 trial batches – we finally got it!
The process of developing this recipe of Tata’s special cookie was as heavenly as the cookie itself. I felt as if she was watching us from above helping us channel her energy into reliving a very specific memory of her and helping us pass it on. May your holidays be filled with joyful memories of the past and hope for the future. With this special cookie as our start, I know ours surely will.
- 1 Cup Unsalted Butter 2 sticks
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 2 Cups All- Purpose Bleached Flour
- 1/4 Cup Almond slivers
- Bring butter to room temperature.
- Cream butter and sugar together in electric mixer on medium setting until fully combined (should look almost white in color).
- Slowly add flour to the butter and sugar while still mixing, scraping sides with spatula occasionally until one large ball of dough forms.
- Split dough into two balls and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- While dough is chilling, preheat oven to 375°
- After 20 minutes of chilling, take one ball of dough and knead it for 10 seconds. Then roll into 12 evenly sized balls. Roll minimally to avoid warming the dough with your hands. Keep the remaining dough in the refrigerator during this process.
- Place 12 balls on baking sheet and place one almond sliver on the center of each ball and push down slightly.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until bottom of cookie is light golden brown.
- Take the other half of the dough out of the refrigerator and repeat steps 6-8.