This is a candy that was the delight of my childhood. We would buy it from cart vendors and eat it rapturously. Those were the good old days when the market was not saturated with one zillion varieties of candies and chips. It is fairly simple to make. Toasting the sesame seeds in the oven, then making a syrup, then mixing the two and cooling the mixture.
The big advantage of this recipe is that the candy is barely sweet, does not feel extra sticky or hard (like it is going to root out all your teeth) and taste delicious, if you like the taste of sesame seeds, that is.
Health benefits are also plentiful. Sesame seeds contain ( among others) copper, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber and are really healthy to eat. I keep mine in the freezer in a plastic bag otherwise they will eventually turn rancid.
This recipe comes from a magazine in Arabic I picked up while in Beirut called milh wa soukkar.
INGREDIENTS: This quantity will make 44 small pieces of candy.
- 1 1/2 cups sesame seeds
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of orange blossom water or vanilla (optional)
- 1 8 or 9 inch square pan, greased with one tablespoon of tahini and one teaspoon of oil
- After cleaning and drying the sesame seeds (if it looks like they need it), place them in a cookie sheet in a medium oven to toast for a few minutes, until they are fragrant and golden.
- When they are toasted to your liking (about 10 to 15 minutes) , remove from the oven and set aside in a bowl.
- In a saucepan, place the sugar and pour the water and lemon juice. Boil for about 20 minutes until a candy thermometer registers 240F (softball stage).
- Immediately pour the syrup onto the sesame seeds, sprinkling the flavoring if using, and with a wooden spoon, mix the two thoroughly.
- Pour the sesame mixture onto the pan. Use a piece of wax paper or foil to flatten the surface without burning your fingers. Cool 5 minutes.
- Score the candy with a knife, drawing lines across the pan, forming squares or lozanges. Cut individual pieces. Wrap in plastic and store in a covered container for several weeks.
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