Şekerpare, a traditional Turkish dessert with a Persian name (Şeker-pare: sugar-piece), is sugar cookies soaked in heavy syrup and topped with pistachios or almonds. Şekerpare is commonly made at homes or can be found in every patisserie. There are different versions of this dessert. Some add semolina to the flour and some alternate the nuts to decorate them. The recipe below is my mom’s decades old recipe. She usually makes them for bayrams/eids.
2 sticks (250 gr.) butter
3 cups flour
1 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ cup ground pistachios
For the syrup
4 cups sugar
5 cups water
-Boil 4 cups of sugar with 5 cups of water until thickens. Set aside to cool.
-Mix powdered sugar and room temperature butter well.
-Add flour and egg.
-Mix baking soda with lemon juice and add to the dough and knead well.
-Take walnut size pieces and roll them into balls first and then with your palms press them slightly. Make a dent right in the middle of the round cookies with your finger and place them in a slightly greased tray. (The tray shouldn’t be too shallow, because the syrup will go in there as well.)
-Bake at 380 F in a preheated oven until golden brown, approximately 35-40 minutes.
-Pour the cooled down syrup (must not be warmer than luke warm) from the side of the tray. Never pour it on top of the cookies; they would get mushy.
-Put 1 tsp ground pistachios on cookies in the dents. (you can also place whole almonds in the middle of cookies before baking as an alternative to ground pistachios)