Boys Town cookies for Chanukah
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Boys Town cookies for Chanukah

Israeli-born chef  Avi Chamal has headed the Boys Town Jerusalem kitchen for 14 years. (Courtesy Boys Town)
Israeli-born chef Avi Chamal has headed the Boys Town Jerusalem kitchen for 14 years. (Courtesy Boys Town)

For Chanukah, Boys Town Jerusalem chef Avi Chamal is preparing sweet, crispy Moroccan cookies, called chebakia. According to Chamal, the cookies “reflect a sweet golden hue reminiscent of the oil in the miraculous Chanukah flask and the 900 Boys Town Jerusalem student diners will anxiously await this Chanukah treat!”

Chebakia Cookies
in Syrup

Ingredients:

8 cups flour
6 tablespoons sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup margarine (butter if making dairy)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup beer
1 cup water, as needed

Syrup:

Combine and cook for 10 minutes:

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
Juice of one lemon
2 whole cloves (or ground cloves to taste)

Combine the dough ingredients in electric mixer. Add water till the dough is pliable. Remove dough and let it rest. Divide dough into circles approximately 3 ounces each. Open the circles, and use a rolling pin to roll each piece into 1/2” thick squares, 3” in diameter. Score 4 evenly spaced slits in each dough square using a pastry wheel with a flouted edge or a pizza cutter. Do not cut the slits all the way to the ends. Shape each square into a flower by loosely slipping a fork through the slits and twisting the dough.

Heat oil for deep-frying until it simmers. Using a second fork, remove each dough circle and drop it into the oil and fry till golden, 2 or 3 minutes on each side. (Fry several “flowers” at a time). Remove and drain on paper towels. Dip each cookie in syrup, and then in ground coconut, candy sprinkles, or ground almonds.

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