Some may be larger or smaller, more syrup-y or perhaps with slightly different imprint patterns, but one common denominator is that they all embrace a sweet syrup that oozes into the biscuit – soaked to perfection. My version is fairly simple and also incorporates orange zest for a little citrus kick and semolina for a little more texture. Pair them on a plate and serve it up with kahva - is it coffee o'clock, yet?
These golden and buttery numbers are a Bosnian favourite. A cross between a biscuit and a little cake, these can come in various shapes, sizes and flavour-styles.
- vegetable oil, to grease
- 2 eggs
- 165 g (¾ cup) caster sugar
- 1 orange, zest finely grated
- 125 g butter, softened
- 330 g (1½ cup) plain flour, sifted
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 50g (¼ cup) fine semolina
- 800 g granulated white sugar
- 1 litre (4 cups) water
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 8 cloves
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You can make this recipe one day prior.
Soaking time 1 hour or overnight
Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Brush two large shallow oven trays with oil to grease.
To make the syrup, combine the sugar, water, lemon juice, cloves and vanilla bean paste in a medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to boil, reduce the heat to lowest possible heat and simmer gently, for 35 minutes or until the syrup thickens and reduces to about 900 ml.
Meanwhile, to make the dough, use an electric mixer to beat the butte, sugar and orange zest until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until well combined and smooth. Sift together flour and baking powder into a bowl, then stir in the semolina. Add to butter mixture and use a wooden spoon and then your hands to mix to a soft dough (see Baker’s tips).
Roll about a tablespoonful of the dough into a log about and 2 cm wide and 6.5 cm long. Press the log lightly onto the small hole-side of a box grater to flatten slightly to form a biscuit about 4 cm x 7 cm and about 1 cm thick and to create a pattern on the surface (see Baker’s tip). Gently peel the dough away form the grater and then use your hands to round the ends slightly to form an oval if needed. Place on the greased baking tray. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing about 2 cm apart.
Bake the biscuits for about 20 minutes, swapping the trays half way through baking until golden brown and cooked through. Pour the hot syrup over the hot biscuits. Set aside until the biscuits soak up most of the syrup (this will take about 30 minutes).
These biscuits will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 weeks, with the syrup spooned over. Serve straight from the fridge or at room temperature.
• This should be a soft play dough-like consistency: soft but not sticky.
• You can also use a fork to imprint your biscuits if you wish.
• The longer you keep the biscuits soaking in the syrup, the better they will be.
Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O’Brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish.
For more recipes, view our online column, Bakeproof: Bosnian baking.