Crescent with Turkish delight (Laffafate bel-raha)

laffafate rahaI am unaware of the exact origin of this pastry; however, since I saw it mentioned in two Armenian cookbooks, it is probably Armenian. The dough is very similar in texture to rugelach dough, and is very simple to make (only flour, butter and cream); it is a bit fragile to handle (sprinkle it with flour if it sticks) but morphs into tender and flaky cookies with the delightful sweet discovery of a lukum ( raha) inside. 

NOTE: The longer the cookies bake, the crispier the dough gets. If you like your dough on the soft side, remove them from the oven when their color is light golden. I made the dough the day before, wrapped it in foil and placed it in the fridge. When I was ready to roll I pulled it out 45 minutes ahead.

roll into a cercle

cut into triangles

place 1:2 lukum on each triangle

INGREDIENTS: 20 cookies

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter softened at room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (more or less as needed), mixed with one teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on the cookies if desired)
  • 12 Lokum or Turkish Delights, cut in half (any flavor, as desired)

1. Place the cream and butter in a mixer bowl and combine well for a couple of minutes. Add the flour (mixed with the baking powder) gradually, until the dough is no longer sticky and form a firm but moist ball. Keep in mind that the less flour you add, the flakier the cookies will be. 

2. Wrap the dough in plastic and place in the fridge for one hour or overnight. To save time, divide the dough into 3 parts and wrap separately; each part will be rolled one at a time. Roll the ball of dough between sheets of wax paper (sprinkled with flour as well) into a large circle, about 9 inches wide. Use a pie pan or cake pan over the dough pressing on it to demarcate the borders and cut it into a clean circle if desired. Score the circle into a cross first, then each quarter in half to form triangles. Place at the edge of each triangle a small piece of lokum and roll up into a crescent shape; place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

3. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 20 minutes or until the crescents are golden. Bake a couple of minutes longer if you like them extra-crispy. Cool the cookies and when ready to serve, sprinkle them with powdered sugar. 

Happy Valentine!!

roll into a croissant

press on tip

keep tip up

dup croissant loukoum

NOTE: The only tricky part to this recipe is making sure the size of the lukum is not too big for the triangle of dough; if it is, it will probably ooze out during baking; another pitfall is to make sure the crescent is tightly sealed prior to inserting it into the hot oven.  

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  1. Posted February 12, 2014 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    The texture reminds me of guilt-free donuts, because they aren’t too sweet or too oily, yet they have that nice soft and pillowy feel. And the taste is great. Yummy! Happy Valentine’s Day, Mom ;)

  2. Posted February 12, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Divine! That is such an interesting choice of filling.



  3. Sylva
    Posted February 13, 2014 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    These look so delicious…I can’t wait to try the recipe!

  4. Posted February 13, 2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    i’ve never seen these before but they look delightful!

  5. Posted February 13, 2014 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Delicious!! Very nice.

    Happy Valentine’s Day!


  6. Posted February 14, 2014 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Amazing filling, never thought of it. thanks for a great recipe.

  7. Posted February 15, 2014 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    I love your blog!! I just found it today and couldn’t stop reading. I’m American but was raised by my Lebanese mother and Egyptian grandmother, and I love Lebanese food!! It’s the best. :)

  8. Joumana
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    @Stephanie: great to learn this and enjoy! :)

  9. Posted February 18, 2014 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    So very pretty!

  10. Elena
    Posted February 23, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful idea.I have to prepare it. So Loukoum extremely sweet and in this cookies the dough help to reduce sweetness of Loukoum.

  11. Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    The lukum looks like a jewel hidden in the pastry.

  12. S
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Joumana, I love, love, love this recipe. I have a Turkish and an Armenian friend, I would love to ask them. They are really cool ladies and will probably claim it is from both countries! Lovely recipe. Also, the new “look” of your blog is lovely, lots of photos of Lebanon, which I am enjoying a lot. I know it is already almost March, but I wish you a beautiful 2014. xo s

  13. Anjum
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    These look really delicious – never seen or heard of these before- cant wait to try it ..
    Is locum – turkish delight .. and when you bake the turkish delight – does it become soft and gooey ..

  14. Joumana
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    @Anjum: No, it stays firm.

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