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Celebrating Christmas in Egypt and Kahk Cookies

Kahk Cookies are taken to friends and family for Christmas in Egypt. These cookies are slightly sweet like a shortbread and very delicious.

The last two countries we will be visiting are not in the heritage of Coffee With Us 3. They are the countries that Jesus spent time as a child. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Israel and then traveled to Egypt to escape King Herod.

Only a small percentage of Egyptians are Christians (Coptic Orthodox Church) and only this small percentage really celebrate Christmas. Christmas is mainly celebrated in January among these Egyptians. They begin with fasting for 43 days  prior to Christmas. From November 25th to January 6th, Christian Egyptians fast from any foods that come from animals. This fast is called the “Holy Nativity Fast.”

Coptics celebrate Christmas on January 7th. On January 6th (Christmas Eve), they have a special service. It begins at 10:30pm and ends sometime after midnight but sometimes goes as late as 4:00am After the service is over, everyone goes home to eat their big Christmas meal which include meat and other foods that come from animals including butter and eggs.  The children also receive new clothes and gifts after the service.

During the day of January 7th, families get together. Often they take kahk with them to share. Kahk is special sweet biscuits/cookies. They are the same Kahk as the Muslims make for Eid el fitr.

While Christmas is mainly only celebrated by the Christians in Egypt, there are others who have begun to celebrate Christmas more similar to the western world. It is more commercial and celebrated on December 25th.

Yield: 20 cookies

Kahk Cookies

Kahk Cookies


Cookie dough

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 cup ghee, room temp, not melted
  • 1/3 cup water, you may need a little more


  • 1 Tbsp ghee
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup pistacios, chopped


Cookie Dough

  1. In mixing bowl (I used the stand mixer), add flour, yeast, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Mix to blend. 
  2. Add ghee and mix until well combined.
  3. Add water slowly until dough comes together.  You may need a little more water. Add a tsp at a time.
  4. Cover and let rest for an hour.


  1. In a small pan, melt ghee. Add flour and cook on medium/low until it turns a golden brown color.  Remove from heat.
  2. Add sesame seeds and honey. Place back on heat and cook until it thickens some. Remove from heat.
  3. Add pistachios. Mix to combine. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.

Construction cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Divide the filling into 20 balls.
  3. Divide cookie dough into 20 balls (about 37g).
  4. Flatten a cookie dough ball, place filling ball in middle and fold cookie dough around filling ball. Repeat with all 20 cookies.
  5. Using a maamoul mold tool, press cookie and place on a parchment lined sheet pan.
  6. Bake for 20 -25 minutes. 
  7. Allow to cool a little. Dust with powdered sugar
  8. Enjoy.
This post is part of our Christmas Around the World series.

Looking for more Christmas Cookies?

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