Recipe courtesy of Yumna Jawad

Ka’ak el Eid

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min (includes chilling and cooling times)
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 dozen cookies
Ka’ak el Eid is a Middle Eastern holiday cookie that’s enjoyed at Eid el Fitr celebrations marking the end of the month of Ramadan. The key ingredient is the iconic ka’ak spice blend of ground anise, fennel, mahlab and nutmeg. There are many variations of the recipe, and this featured version from Lebanon has a crisp texture on the outside with a soft crumbly texture on the inside that’s perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.


Ka’ak Spice Blend:


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, anise seeds, baking powder and ka’ak spice blend in a large bowl. Whisk in melted butter, vanilla and eggs until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the dough, roll it into a ball with your hands, then roll it into a log, about 5 inches long (see Cook’s Note). Set the log on a plate and repeat with the remaining dough to make 48 logs. Cover the logs with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes (see Cook’s Note).
  4. Squeeze the ends of each rope together to form a ring and place on the prepared baking sheets.
  5. Sprinkle more anise seeds on top of the cookies and bake until they are slightly puffed, firm and golden on the bottom, about 20 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Ka’ak Spice Blend:

  1. Combine the ground anise, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground fennel, ground mahlab and ground nutmeg in a small bowl. The ka’ak spice blend can be store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Cook’s Note

The cookies truly look best when they are uniform in shape and size. Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon for measuring really helps to achieve this. Chilling the dough twice makes it easier to roll and form into the ring-shaped cookies. For the homemade ka’ak spice blend, if mahlab is not available, add 1 teaspoon almond extract into the batter with the wet ingredients.