Today is the Epiphany. For the Eastern Christians, it is the holiday where we celebrate the baptisim of Jesus in the Jordan river. Our tradition involves, on the Epiphany Eve, in addition to the preparation of different desserts, to knead a small piece of dough, place one or two coins in the middle, fold the edges onto the coin and leave it either in the closet, or outside the balcony, so that when Jesus “passes by” on that night, he blesses the dough to more prosperous time.
I await this time of year impatiently, why, because I love the desserts we make. At home, we prepare zalebieh, maacroun, and awwamat, in arabic it means floaters, because they float when fried and when soaked in the sugar syrup. It’s a fried small doughs, ball- shaped, made with few ingredients, flour, water, yeast and mahlab; then dipped in Qater while still hot so they absorb the syrup well. I love their sweet softness. So delicious, that the whole batch was over in just one day.
– 2 cups cake flour
– 2 cups water
– 1 tsp instant dry-yeast
– 1 tsp mahlab
– oil, for frying
Qater, to soak in the awwamat
– Bring to boil 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a pan. Stiring occasionaly. When abit thick, put a squeeze of lemon. Remove from heat.
Mix all the ingredients together and let the batter rest to rise. Then heat oil for frying and drop ball-shape dough into the oil. When brown colored remove from oil and toss in the sugar syrup, Qater. Then remove and place in another bowl.