5 Special Cookies From Around the World Shared by Allrecipes Home Cooks

One bite of a sweet cookie can connect us to cultures and traditions beyond our borders. Explore cookies from around the world, shared by our Allrecipes community members.

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Photo: Kelsey Hansen

Ma'amoul (Lebanese Date Cookies)

Lebanese Date Cookies
Carson Downing

Hearty cookies enjoyed across the Middle East, ma'amoul sometimes feature ground nuts or figs instead of dates. This Lebanese family version gets most of its sweetness from its date filling and powdered sugar. Be generous with both!

"After a few phone calls with my mom and grandma, I managed to write a detailed recipe for one of my favorite Lebanese sweets," says recipe creator Laura F.

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mahlab mixture
Carson Downing

Mahlab is a powder made from the pits of the sour St. Lucie cherry. It has cherry, floral, and almond flavor notes. In its raw state, it tastes bitter. Once cooked, it takes on a rich, fruity spice flavor. If you can't find mahlab, stir ¼ teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds and ¼ teaspoon of ground cardamom into the flour mixture in Step 1 of the recipe and stir 1/8 teaspoon of almond extract into the milk mixture after the yeast forms in Step 2 of the recipe.

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Wooden Molds for Ma'amoul

wooden mold for maamoul lebanese date cookies
Carson Downing

You can find wooden molds like these (and other key ingredients for ma'amoul) online or in Middle Eastern markets. No mold? No worries! After sealing the dough around the filling, flatten slightly, then press or carve desired designs using a wooden skewer.

Get the recipe: Ma'amoul (Lebanese Date Cookies)

Ghorayebah (Butter Biscuits for Eid)

Ghorayebah (Butter Biscuits for Eid)
Carson Downing

Ghorayebah — sometimes spelled ghoriba, ghriba, or ghryba (goh-REE-bah) — are popular North African and Middle Eastern cookies. Styles vary. This particular version is like a shortbread studded with cloves or almonds. It is lovely with coffee or tea.

"This is a seasonal Sudanese cookie usually used for Eid celebrations, but you are surely free to bake them at any time of year. This recipe was handed down to me by my mother," says recipe contributor Shiara.

Get the recipe: Ghorayebah (Butter Biscuits for Eid)

Kruschicki (Polish Bow Tie or Angel Wing Cookies)

Carson Downing

We halved Dianne B's recipe for these cookies — also spelled chruściki — but kept the whiskey amount the same. Our test kitchen found it yielded a crispier result.

"Adding a teaspoon or so of plain vinegar to the mixture provides extra crispiness," says reviewer Grammy O.

"This recipe is from my grandmother. The secret is to roll the dough thin for a light, crisp cookie," says recipe creator Dianne B.

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Step 1

Kruschicki dough
Carson Downing

On a floured work surface, roll each dough piece as thinly as possible, sprinkling flour under and on top of dough as needed to keep from sticking. Cut dough into one-inch-wide strips, about three inches long. Cut a slit (about 1 ½ inches long) lengthwise in the center of each strip.

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Step 2

Kruschicki dough step 2
Carson Downing

Gently pull one end through the slit.

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Step 3

Kruschicki step 3
Carson Downing

Working in batches, fry three or four strips in hot oil, turning once, until golden brown, 30 to 40 seconds. Drain strips on a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar while still warm.

Get the recipe: Kruschicki

Anzac Biscuits (Australian Coconut-Oat Cookies)

Anzac Biscuits (Australian Coconut-Oat Cookies)
Carson Downing

"This is a traditional recipe from Australia and New Zealand, associated with the national day of remembrance (Anzac Day) to commemorate the Gallipoli campaign during WWI," says recipe contributor Sharon McAllister.

"Doesn't get more Aussie than these! This is the one and only recipe I use to make the boys Anzac biscuits. I like a little extra golden syrup in the mix," says reviewer Trish Gorman.

"Delicious! But don't cook for the full time if you don't want them crunchy. Just 10 minutes was perfect for me, even though they won't look done when they come out of the oven," says home cook AKSUNROOF.

Get the recipe: Anzac Biscuits (Australian Coconut-Oat Cookies)

Alfajores (Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies)

Alfajores (Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies)
Carson Downing

"This was given to me by a chef who sweet-talked the recipe out of a street vendor in Peru. These alfajores are to die for," says recipe creator vegchef.

"Be careful not to cut dough logs in slices that are too thick," says reviewer Robin.

How to Make DIY Dulce de Leche

Prepared dulce de leche can be found in the Latin section of many grocery stores, but it's also easy to make at home. Divide two (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk among four half-pint canning jars. Apply new lids and screw on rings finger-tight. Arrange in a four-quart round slow cooker with straight sides. Add water to cover jars by one inch. Cover and cook on low 10 to 11 hours. Using canning tongs, transfer jars to a wire rack to cool. Chill jars up to one month. Warm before serving.

Get the Recipe: Alfajores (Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies)

This article originally appeared in the December/January 2022 issue of Allrecipes Magazine.


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