September is Heritage Month in South Africa, and I’m loving the vibe. The smell of braai lingers in the air, and peeps are sharing things about themselves like where they’ve come from and what that means to them. And I wanted to share a little something of my own…in the form of baked goods, no doubt. And yes I know it’s basically the end of the month but whatever don’t judge me.
Every summer my mom makes a batch of Turkish Delight cookies. She makes them once a year only and as that buttery, distinctly floral scent comes drifting from the kitchen, she can be heard telling my dad off for trying to steal a slice. She’s usually brandishing a kitchen knife at this point too. V scary.
Anyway. You can’t really blame my dad because these little squares of actual joy are actually stupid-delicious. The buttery shortbread cuts through the super sweet Turkish Delight and the crumble on top is so toasty and, er…crumbly.
The thing is, these treats really are a special part of our family. While my mom was the custodian of the recipe before passing it over to me, the OG stems from the OG baker: my gran. My dad’s mom. Being the baking goddess that she was, she was known to make chiffon cake, cupcakes, date balls and delicious puddings. And she also took a v unspecific jam square recipe, replaced the jam and added her own magical twist in the form of Turkish Delight. If you wanted to get creative, you too could add your own chewy additions like nougat or marshmallows. Either way, these are SUCH a winner and I’m excited to share the recipe with you.
Here’s what you need:
- 226g butter (softened to room temperature)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs, beaten
- a dash of vanilla
- 1tsp baking powder
- 4 cups flour
- a pinch of salt
- about 800g of Turkish Delight (I use 2 boxes of Beacon Turkish Delight – store bought is the way!) chopped into smaller bits
Here’s what you gotta do:
- Preheat oven to 180℃
- Line your baking tray
- Cream the butter and sugar (I use a standing mixer)
- Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until evenly mixed
- In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder)
- Add to the wet mixture to make a soft dough
- Take half of the dough, and pat out a thin layer on the tray
- Cover the layer with Turkish Delight bits
- Roll the rest of the dough in some flour and grate on top
- Pop it into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes (or, as my mom would say, until they’re brown-ish)
- Leave to cool for a few mins and then slice into squares of delicious-ness