My Halwa Shebakia -- Special Ramadan Sesame Cookies

"This was posted for informational purposes ONLY with a large caveat for ever trying to make these at home unless an experienced maker has taught you! You who continue to make this will be disappointed and unhappy!! Also don't be adding an egg to make something to soft hold together. I have a feeling over processing is the problem as the blades heat up in a short time and if you're using a big motored processor. I posted this recipe with warnings and believe them! If you like or want to try shebakia then please find an internet source; they are out there! It seems my original introduction needed to be repeated right at the top. These are the longstanding traditional Ramadan sesame cookies. While available year round and eaten all year, these are especially important during the month of Ramadan. They give a high carbohydrate kick with breakfast at sunset. Mythis recipe originally makes 100 cookies as we have more guests than usual in this month and we give them as gifts, especially to our single male friends! These are available by the millions for sale on the streets, though homemade ones melt in your mouth. I have quartered he recipe before and for you. You can take it back to 100 or double this recipe. They are wonderful though 2 is my limit; they are so sweet. Due to the honey they keep virtually forever in the fridge and can be frozen in a single layer on a baking tray and then bagged. Thaw at room temperature. I do NOT recommend making these at home as they are difficult and I learned from my Moroccan Mother in law to be. These need to be learned by an experienced maker and adding egg or anything of that nature will simply make matters worse. I posted the recipe as a request with a caveat to the person requesting. These can be purchased online as well. c.\2005"
photo by Hajar Elizabeth photo by Hajar Elizabeth
photo by Hajar Elizabeth
Ready In:
1hr 35mins
30 cookies




  • In a food processor process all the ingredients, except the honey, into a paste.
  • Take a walnut-sized piece of paste and roll it out very thin. Using a metal cut-out typically found in Morocco, with different designs, a small shaped cookie cutter, pie crust/ravioli wheel or knife and cut out cookies and let them rise for 15 minutes. If not using a cookie cutter which I don't, simply cut strips and twist them into a spiral or figure 8. I do the figure 8 making sure it is secure by slightly pinching in 2-3 places.
  • Deep-fry the cookies in a skillet or fryer in the remaining oil in batches over low heat just to brown.
  • 3-Soak the cookies in the honey for 15 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Let sit until the honey sets a bit.
  • Store in a plastic bag or container.
  • One person emailed me when this was posted on my website stating that her cookies fell apart in frying. This should not happen though if it does, 5g of gum arabic may be added to the recipe at processing stage or re-processed briefly to add.

Questions & Replies

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  1. tariktchach
    To get this to work- add a little water at a time, working it into the dough, until you end up with a dough that sticks together well, and not to your hands. I then roll thin sheets out between wax paper in as much like a rectangle as possible. Freeze the sheets long enough to get them firm (5-10 minutes) then peel off the top wax paper and cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch strips. Create bowtie or pretzel shapes with the strips, and continue on like the recipe as stated. This is much more like you would find in Morocco, and does NOT fall apart in the oil. My first batch without water did the same as everyone else- it just disappated into nothing once in the oil- I was so angry. I can't remember what caused me to add water- but it was the MAGIC ingredient- enjoy your perfect shebakia!!!
  2. living_straight
    yep same as everyone else, i put them in oil and they just disolved completely in my fryer, now my oil is filled with seseme seeds(sigh) so i tried to fry them in a skillet same thing. browned on one side dissolved on top. tried to bake, since i had so much paste, and just crumbled. terrible waste
  3. Dasha
    I had the a bad experience. It all fell apart and I also tried adding gum arabia and later an egg. The egg helped a tiny bit, but not enough. Had to throw it all away. Dissapointed for the waste of time and ingredients.
  4. Pneuma
    I like Shebakia and thus was excited when I found out there was a recipe of it in here. I followed the recipe as is and even added gum arabic as suggested to make sure it comes out right. Still, they fall apart to the point that I couldn't form any shapes at all and frying them deemed useless since it continued to fall apart in that stage as well. I tried to salvage it in the end by adding an egg, but it still didn't work. Sad to say but had to throw out the mixture. Please try to review this recipe again if it's correct.

RECIPE SUBMITTED BY I am marrying soon to a man who loves to eat as much as I love to cook. Gym, here he comes! I am also currently working on 3 cookbooks though I need Dragon software now due to my disabilities. My fiance and I love to be outdoors, have picnics and barbeques where I smoke all sorts of meats. I have traveled the world and am now still in my home port; at least to live but no moss grows under these feet! My fiance cannot cook, however and is now receiving cooking lessons from me. Anyone interested in cooking lessons in my area, please feel free to get in touch.
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