When Easter gets nearer, preparations start to take place in every household in Lebanon. People start to prepare ingredients for Ma’amoul, and the Easter eggs will be colored and ready. Chocolate eggs and bunnies will decorate the tables as well. There is a Lebanese tradition where we make Ka’ak Bi Haleeb or milk cookies for Palm Sunday, one week before Easter. As Palm Sunday is approaching, I’m sharing with you my recipe of Ka’ak Bi Haleeb gluten-free.

Ingredients

Servings: 45-50 cookies

Time to prepare the dough: 30 minutes/Time to rise the dough: 3 hours/Time to prepare the cookies: 30 minutes/Time to bake: 15-18 minutes

- 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
- ½ cup cornmeal
- ½ cup sugar
- 100 grams or ½ cup Crisco
- 1 cup warm full-fat milk
- 2 tsp yeast
- 2 tbsp. sugar to activate the yeast
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp. orange blossom water
- 1 tsp mahlab (a Middle-eastern spice)
- 1 tsp ground anis
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ tsp vinegar

Method

  1. Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, vanilla, salt, and all the spices in the bowl of the electric mixing machine.
  2. Put the yeast and 2 tbsp. of sugar in a bowl and add the warm milk to it.
  3. Keep the milk aside for few minutes until the yeast starts to activate.
  4. Add the milk, vinegar, orange blossom water, and Crisco to the flour mix.
  5. Start the mixer on low until the ingredients mix well together.
  6. Increase the speed of the mixer and keep it on for two minutes until you get a very smooth dough.
  7. Cover the dough and let it rest for at least two hours.

  1. Take small portions from the dough and form rings (see photos).
  2. Lay the rings on buttered oven sheets and let rest for 1 hour.
  3. Brush the cookies with milk and sprinkle sesame seeds on top (Optional).
  4. Bake in a pre-heated oven on 200°C for 15-18 minutes or until they are golden brown.